WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 6, 2007) — The 70th annual convention and trade show of the Natural Products Association, held July 20-22 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., continued to attract sizable attendance, bringing a wide range of manufacturers and retailers together to share ideas, knowledge and new products. Among the wide array of wares on display, the trade show featured an expanded personal care pavilion and a new green home pavilion.
“Once again we offered attendees a great variety of events and products,” said Debra Short, the Natural Products Association’s new president. “I can’t say enough good things about our speakers, exhibitors, and everyone involved. They are really what makes the show so interesting, especially as our membership continues to grow and embrace the spectrum of natural products retailers and suppliers.”
Overall enthusiasm was high among the nearly 7,000 exhibitors, retailers, media and others who attended the event. Interest in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) publication of the final good manufacturing practices (GMPs) was evident by the strong attendance at the association’s events educating suppliers on becoming compliant with the new regulation. A full crowd of retailers signaled the success of the newly added Dale Carnegie workshops, in addition to capacity attendance at other educational seminars and events throughout the weekend.
Press Event Announces Several New Initiatives
During a press conference held during the event, journalists learned about several new, exciting initiatives from the Natural Products Association and the Natural Products Foundation. The launch of a verification program for testing the purity of raw materials in China, an industry first, topped the news. In addition, the association announced the formation of a work group dedicated to developing a definition of the term “natural” for personal care products and the release of retailer and supplier salary surveys. For more information, visit the Natural Products Association’s press center at www.NaturalProductsAssoc.org/press.
Also announced was the creation of two new self-regulatory initiatives by the Natural Products Foundation: a truth-in-advertising and finished product testing programs. For the complete story, visit the foundation’s Web site at www.NaturalProductsFoundation.org.
New President Sworn In, Board Member Elections Announced
Debra Short was formally sworn in for a two-year term as the association’s new president on Sunday. Short, who served one year as the association’s first president-elect, is the co-owner of House of Health, a small natural products retail chain with three stores in Shawnee and Ada, Okla. She succeeds David Taylor, of Nature’s Harvest Market & Deli in Tampa, Fla., who will serve a one-year term as past-president.
The association also held elections to fill the seats of board members whose terms were expiring. New, re-elected or continuing their terms on the 22-member board are retailer Carolyn Behrman, Natural Choices for Healthy Living, Columbus, Ind.; Roxanne Green, PCC Natural Markets, Kirkland, Wash.; Cheryl Hughes, The Whole Wheatery, Lancaster, Calif.; Janice Love, The Olde Wheat Barn, Ruston, La.; David Stouder, Apple Health Foods, Redwood City, Calif.; Andy Fox, Natur-Tyme, East Syracuse N.Y.; Pat Sardell, Country Vitamins, Corvallis, Ore.; and Jeff Wright, Wright's Nutrients, New Port Richey, Fla. Suppliers include Jane Drinkwalter, Vitamer Labs, Irvine, Calif.; Tom Grillea, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI)/Select Nutrition Division, Uniondale, N.Y.; Harvey Kamil, NBTY, Bohemia, N.Y.; Rory Mahony, Nature’s Way, Springville, Utah; and Sharon Sherman, PetGuard, Green Cove Springs, Fla.
Outstanding Industry Achievements Honored
Just before the keynote address from Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and current presidential candidate, key association award winners were honored. The association’s Burton Kallman Scientific Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions benefiting the natural products industry, was presented to Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of education for the program in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and a clinical lecturer for the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. This year’s recipient of the Rachel Carson Environmental Award, honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment was Michael J. Balick, Ph.D., vice president and chair, Research and Training, Philecology Curator of Economic Botany, and director of the Institute of Economic Botany for the New York Botanical Garden. The President’s Award, honoring an individual who has made long-time contributions to the natural products industry, or has made a onetime, uniquely significant impact on the industry, was this year awarded to Sandy Gooch, industry advocate, innovator, entrepreneur, and community volunteer, and founder of the Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Market chain of stores, now a part of Whole Foods.
Other award recipients at Natural MarketPlace 2007 were Paul Bennett, founder and owner of Harvest Moon Natural Foods in Olathe, Kansas, and Len Monheit of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, editor of NPIwatch and NPIDaily, global online information resources for professionals in the natural products industries. Bennet and Monheit received the association’s Industry Champion Award, recognizing individuals who have made notable contributions to the natural products industry beyond commercial success. Keith I. Block, M.D., medical-scientific director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois, received the The Natural Products Association Clinician Award, created to honor licensed healthcare practitioners whose work exemplifies the best standards and dedication to responsible holistic, non-invasive and alternative medicine modalities.
Recognizing the best booths on the show floor, awards were presented to the following exhibitors:
- Best Theme: TalkingRain Beverage Company
- Best Multiple Booth: Nature’s Best
- Best Single Booth: Bolga Baskets
- Best Island Booth: Xango Juice
- Best Display of Product: Healing Silks
The popular People's Choice Awards, where retailers sample and rate exhibitor foods in a blind taste test, went to the following companies:
- Baked Goods: Nairn’s Stem Ginger Oat Biscuits by Christopher Brookes Distinctive Foods
- Energy Bars: Cranberry Crunch Bora Bora Organic Snack from Wellements
- Beverages: Tea in a Jar (Aloe Vera) by Puripan
- Snack Foods: Roasted and Salted Sweet Corn snack from NOW Foods
Scientific posters sessions yielded winners in a range of fields. Edward Walker, Ph.D, took first place with his poster on the HPLC analysis of selected xanthones in mangosteen fruit. Huanbiao Mo, Ph.D. and Barrie Tan, Ph.D. won second place with a poster on cholesterol reducing delta-and gamma-tocotrienols’ potential application in cancer treatments, and Kenneth Blum and team placed third for their DNA-customized neuronal dopamine release activator.
The Natural Products Association’s 2008 show will be held July 17-19, 2008 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian Resort Hotel. For information about exhibiting, contact the Natural Products Association at (800) 966-6632, ext. 237 or e-mail [email protected]. Look for upcoming information on next year’s show at www.NaturalProductsAssoc.org.
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About The Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association (www.NaturalProductsAssoc.org) is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.