Herbal heroes unmasked

American Herbal Products Association 2013 Award winners include national heroes, visionaries.

Awards season continues with the announcement of the winners of the the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) eighth annual AHPA Awards. The prizes, which do not come with a golden statuette of a naked man, recognize individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.

"AHPA is pleased to recognize the significant contributions that these members of the herbal industry have made to further elevate the status of quality-based botanical products for consumers around the world," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president, in a release. "We hope that recognition such as the annual AHPA Awards encourages everyone involved in the industry to remain committed to the excellence displayed by this year's award winners."

The AHPA Herbal Hero Award, honoring outstanding contributions to AHPA committees or initiatives, goes to Sidney Sudberg -and Élan Sudberg of Alkemists Laboratories, a botanical identification and analytical testing company in Costa Mesa, Calif. The AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award, recognizes companies that set an example of outstanding business practices or organizations that work to move the industry forward above and beyond normal business practices. This year, it goes to Trout Lake Farm, an organic herb grower in Trout Lake, Wash., with special recognition of Martha Jane Johnson, cofounder and sales manager, who is retiring this year after 40 years with the farm.

The AHPA Herbal Insight Award lauding individuals or noncommercial organizations that have a significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses. Josef Brinckmann, vice president of sustainability at Sebastopol, Calif.-based tea company Traditional Medicinals receives this year's award. A special, AHPA Visionary Award has been given to Lynda LeMole for her pioneering efforts in forwarding the use of herbal medicine.

The 2013 AHPA Awards will be presented during the association's annual member meeting and breakfast at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. As of press time, no red carpet specials had been scheduled, though after parties are sure to last throughout Expo weekend.

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