The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, today announced a new membership dues structure for Voting members, effective January 2009, in an effort to make membership more accessible to mid-size and even smaller companies in the industry.
According to CRN Chair Marjorie Fine, executive vice president and general counsel, Shaklee Corporation, “Our goal in revising our dues structure is to make membership in CRN more accessible across all sectors of the responsible industry. Whether a company is large, medium or small, membership in CRN comes with benefits, including access to: an aggressive, science-based agenda; regulatory and government relations expertise; and proactive public relations programs—all designed to improve the climate for responsible companies. We wanted to create a more equitable dues structure across the board that would still allow us to maintain the high level of membership benefits and service and also enhance the association’s ability to attract more companies to take advantage of our strategic initiatives.”
The new dues structure will maintain the low dues for the smallest companies (those with less than $5 million in annual sales), and lower annual dues for small and mid-size companies (those with up to $150 million in annual sales), while the largest companies have agreed to take an increase in dues.
“This shows true leadership among our largest member companies who are willing to pay
more in order to help bring more companies on board,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN. “CRN membership already includes companies that represent the majority of supplement sales in the U.S., and the ability to increase our membership numbers will further help us to fulfill our mission.”
CRN dues for Voting members are based on a percentage of annual U.S. sales of dietary supplement products and/or ingredients, with a current cap of $150,000 in annual dues, to be raised to $165,000 in 2009. Voting members are:
• any company or person who manufactures a dietary ingredient or a dietary supplement—as defined in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA)—or who distributes a dietary supplement under its own brand. Under DSHEA, a dietary supplement is defined as "any product that contains one or more dietary ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other botanicals, amino acids or other ingredients used to supplement the diet."
CRN also offers three other types of membership for firms that do not market dietary supplements or their ingredients in the U.S., but would like the education, advocacy and networking benefits that membership in CRN provides. These categories are:
Associate: Any company or person who supplies services or other support to a company or person eligible for voting membership. Associates may apply to upgrade their membership to voting status. A new Associate Membership Benefits package was announced in March of this year. Dues for Associate Members are $3,000 per year and dues will not change in 2009.
International: Any company or person that is eligible for Voting or Associate membership in CRN, but does business exclusively outside the U.S. International members may apply to upgrade their membership to voting status. International membership will be raised from $2,500 to $5,000 per year, effective 2009.
Functional Foods: Any company who manufactures a food for special dietary use, a functional food, or a related nutritional food.
The current multiplier for computing CRN’s dues, which is .126 percent of sales, will be replaced with a sliding scale of .095 percent to .120 percent, depending on the size of the company. For example, a company with $100 million in U.S. sales will see its dues drop from
$126,000 to $105,000 under the new dues schedule.
CRN is making this announcement now to encourage companies planning their 2009 budgets to take into consideration the new dues structure. As an added bonus, CRN will continue to offer its special promotion for Voting members: 50% off the first year’s dues.
Note: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement ingredient suppliers and manufacturers. CRN members adhere to a strong code of ethics and manufacture dietary supplements to high quality standards under good manufacturing practices. To learn more, visit www.crnusa.org.