After a record-setting and off-the-chart Expo West, re-entry to your day-to-day world can be rough. After all, as accurate as Dorothy was when she said that there is no place like home, to those in the natural products industry, there is no place like Anaheim! Old friends, new friends, new products, legacy brands, growth, innovation, progress -- and that is all before you get to the trade show floor!
Now, there are bills to be paid, problems to be solved, employees to coach, customers to satisfy, and many, many things to do. I want to urge you to plan another trip. Not to another show -- although some good ones are on the calendar in the months to come (and Expo East is not that far off) -- but to Washington, DC. In just a few weeks (April 13) is a vital day on the calendar for the natural products industry: the Natural Products Association's annual lobby day. This is an opportunity for those who make a living in this industry to talk with those who determine the laws and regulations that govern manufacture, marketing and sale of the products that are in our stores. It is also our chance to personally thank those who have joined the Dietary Supplements Caucus.
Front and center this year is pending legislation to allow American to use funds in their Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) on dietary supplements. This is an amazing step forward! It is an acknowledgement of the health benefits obtained from the use of supplements. We have gotten this far before but fell short in the end. The NPA was able to get this legislation reintroduced this year, and we are able to help move it along by personally advocating it with our representatives in DC.
You can learn more about NPA’s lobby day and register to attend here. Discounted rates for those attending have been extended to Friday, March 18.
Never lobbied Congress before? Don’t worry about it. You will receiving training about what to say and how to say it. You will learn the proper protocol to follow. All of your appointments will be made for you. It is an amazing experience and you will be supported each step of the way.
If you are unable to attend, you can still support the effort by reaching out to your Representative and Senators and ask for their support.
Please, however, consider being a part of the effort in person. If somewhere around 70,000 people can be a part of Expo West (and hopefully more will be going forward), it would be such a thrill to get at least 700 going to DC for lobby day. The work at NPA’s lobby day helps keep the safe, effective, health and wellness products that we all love, use and sell available to our customers and keeps our industry in business. I hope to see you there.