Two UK water cooler associations to form new trade body

The members of the British Water Cooler Association(BWCA) and the members of the European Drinking Water Cooler Association(EDWCA) have voted to form a new, combined association to replace the two separate existing trade associations.

Pictured after the voting at both AGM (l-r), Tracy Corroll, James Anderton, Jon Wicks and Phillipa Atkinson-Clow

Talks began between members of the two executive committees in 2018. A proposal was formed as a result and the members of each organisation voted positively to form a new, bigger and more representative Association.

On October 10, 2019, both the BWCA and EDWCA held their 2019 AGMs at Sketchley Grange, Hinckley and both returned an overwhelming vote to amalgamate.

Speaking on this important move, the BWCA’s Chairman Jon Wicks said: “This industry has been well served by both Associations. Now that the sector has grown to become £140 million in value with consistent growth over the past six years, the time seemed right to improve still further the representation of the existing members of both Associations. It seems wise to have a single body to lobby, set standards of excellence and promote sustainable and healthy hydration”.

James Anderton the EDWCA’s Chairman said: “The new body will be well-placed to tackle all of this and more. Jon Wicks and I are proud to have led our respective associations towards making this important change”.

The new Association will be named The Watercooler & Hydration Association (WHA) with an official launch date of January 1, 2020.

The many benefits which have driven this decision are:

  • Single representation for the industry – giving us a better voice
  • More members provide better economies of scale so we can invest more in our industry for and on behalf of our Members
  • Provide better protection of the industry as all companies will be under one roof
  • Consistent industry standards
  • Allows a uniform way and ability to better promote our industry
  • Allows for better focus of organisational job roles

Phillipa Atkinson-Clow, GM of the BWCA, added: “This is an exciting move for the sector. I’m proud to have led the BWCA for over 25 years and look forward to what the next stage may bring.”

Tracy Corroll, EDWCA Secretariat, concluded: “Phillipa and I are looking forward to working together to help achieve a bigger, better organisation and to ensure that the association continues to bring the best training and quality standards to the water cooler industry.”