Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry Company News

Boston-based organic greens company Olivia's Organics helped break a Guinness World Record for the most jack-o-lanterns lit in one place at one time at the 2006 Life is Good Pumpkin Festival. By bringing in 500 pumpkins, Olivia's helped boost the count over the record by 128 pumpkins. The festival raised $554,211 for Camp Sunshine, a national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Pharmachem Laboratories of Kearny, N.J., donated $75,000 to Vitamin Angel Alliance's 2007 Operation 20/20 campaign, a global initiative to save 4.5 million children from going blind this year due to vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin Angel recently partnered with the Us Foundation, Humanity in Unity and Airline Ambassadors International to launch a humanitarian program to save the eyesight of young children and improve the health and welfare of families in 11 poor villages in Nandi Hills near Bangalore, India.

Vitamin Angels has raised more than 60 percent of the funding needed to meet its goal of providing 4.5 million children in 26 countries with vitamin A supplements in 2007. Vitamin Angels hosted a cocktail reception at SupplySide West in Las Vegas in support of its Operation 20/20.

Planet Dog Foundation, the nonprofit arm of pet product company Planet Dog of Portland, Maine, awarded grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to five organizations in which dogs serve and support people. Grants went to Gabriel's Angels, a pet therapy program for abused, neglected and at-risk children; International Hearing Dog, which provides custom training for dogs to assist people with disabilities; the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center's People-Animal Connection program, which provides animal visits to people in hospitals; New England K-9 Search & Rescue, which offers free service for missing skiers, hikers, mountaineers, children and elders; and Susquehanna Service Dogs, which trains and provides service dogs for the disabled.

Charity watchdog organization Charity Navigator gave a "Four Star" financial health rating to Vitamin Relief USA, a nonprofit organization that provides daily vitamins to at-risk children and seniors across the United States. The rating was given after an analysis of VRUSA's expenses, organizational efficiency, revenues and leadership salary.

Missoula, Mont.-based nutraceutical company TSI Health Sciences joined Salt Lake City-based United Natural Products Alliance, a trade organization representing dietary supplement companies, in November 2006.

For the second year in a row, the Organic Trade Association's All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show was named one of Trade Show Week's Top 50 fastest-growing trade shows in North America. Greenfield, Mass.-based OTA, in partnership with Diversified Business Communications, drew more than 10,500 attendees to the show floor in May 2006 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Seattle-based Tully's Coffee Corp. donated $18,000 to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer division of the American Cancer Society. The donation is the result of sales from signature items sold throughout October 2006 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For every one-pound bag of coffee sold, Tully's donated $2.

Global food manufacturer The Mizkan Group, based in Mount Prospect, Ill., is expanding into Hong Kong. The new location will increase Mizkan Asia Pacific's ability to target markets in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and others in Southern China.

Decatur, Ga.-based supplement manufacturer Ribbon Nutrition, which funds nonprofit organizations in the fight against breast cancer, chose three nonprofit partners to receive donations from the company's retail sales throughout 2007. Young Survival Coalition, Environmental Working Group and Pink Penguin Press will share up to 10 percent of Ribbon Nutrition's total company revenue.

Employees from Boston Whole Foods Markets served a Thanksgiving dinner at the Greater Boston Food Bank's Kids Café in the Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, Mass. The Whole Foods employees served turkey, stuffing, gravy, butternut squash puree, roasted vegetables, pies, dinner rolls and juice to 200 children.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 1/p. 68

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