CRN announced changes to its by-laws that will enable the association to more fully recognize the evolving nature of the dietary supplement industry by offering new classes of membership and a revised dues structure, thereby allowing more kinds of companies to experience the benefits of membership and make a contribution to industry growth through CRN. The CRN Board of Directors approved the recommended changes in concept at its June Board meeting and subsequently has unanimously adopted the formal revisions to the association’s by-laws.
According to CRN President and CEO Steve Mister, “CRN has been fortunate to see a steady stream of membership growth in recent years, and with these changes to our membership categories and dues structure, we are poised to welcome even more companies who manufacture or market dietary supplements or functional foods. In addition, our new dues structure recognizes that many industry players have multiple roles, and more fairly reallocates the obligations of membership. Together these revisions will strengthen CRN and the future of our industry.”
CRN now recognizes four categories of Voting Members—branded finished product manufacturers, contract manufacturers, ingredient manufacturers, and ingredient representatives/distributors—each with different dues rates that more accurately reflect their relative business models and profit margins, and thus their ability to contribute to strengthening the regulatory and consumer climates for the industry.
In addition, CRN now offers a four-tiered dues structure in the Associate Member category, dependent on the size of the company, and making membership more affordable for single practitioners. “The bottom line,” said Mr. Mister, “is we value the role of our Associate Members and their continued contribution to the industry, and we needed to recognize that one-size-fits-all dues was not the ideal model for this category.”
The revised by-laws also address the functional food category. Unlike dietary supplements, there is no regulatory definition for functional foods. Although CRN has welcomed functional food companies for over a decade, the new by-laws create a definition as “any product that is properly labeled as a ‘food’ (i.e., uses a Nutrition Facts label) under the U.S. Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, that is formulated specifically to increase the intake of certain nutrients or other compounds and for which the manufacturer makes structure/function or health claims in its labeling.”
CRN will continue to represent store brand retailers of all sizes—those who market their own unique store brands of dietary supplements or functional foods, both brick and mortar and online. The change clarifies that these firms pay dues based only on the dietary supplements and functional foods they market under their own labels and allows them to have a voice in directing the future of the industry through CRN membership.
These changes become effective in 2014; however, companies joining before the end of the year may take advantage of the new rates, should they choose to do so. The recommendations were developed by a 15-member CRN Task Force composed of members from all segments of the industry and charged with creating a framework for CRN membership that reflects the diversity of the industry. It began its deliberations in 2012 and presented the recommendations to the Board of Directors in June.
According to CRN Chair John J. Blair, NSA, LLC (JuicePlus+®), “We are grateful to the Task Force members for their effort as these changes assure that CRN continues to grow with the industry, and enables our association to strengthen its mission to represent our member companies’ interests to responsibly develop, manufacture and market dietary supplements and nutritional ingredients.”