Natural Foods Merchandiser
Natural Products Association president urges support of membership change

Natural Products Association president urges support of membership change

Jeff Wright

The Natural Products Association is poised to take a major leap forward to better represent the natural marketplace and increase our power nationally. But we need your help.

This summer, NPA members will vote on a series of bylaws changes to modernize NPA’s operations and grow as the most powerful natural products industry association serving the entire supply chain.

The most important of these changes would expand retailer membership to allow large chains and web-based retailers to join NPA so they support the advocacy costs that actually benefit the entire industry, not just our members.

Right now, when NPA helps defeat harmful legislation in Congress or pushes back on damaging regulations, everybody in the industry benefits, but as NPA members under the current membership bylaws, only you are paying for it.

Continuing to deny NPA membership to those new to the industry won't slow or stop their involvement in the marketplace. However, it does give them a free ride on you, while weakening our ability to influence legislation because we represent just a portion of the market.

Changing the bylaws means that national and online retailers would pay their fair share for these benefits that they’re getting now. And it’s important to emphasize, whether you have one store or dozens of stores, your NPA membership entitles you to just one vote.

This will stay the same, even if some of the larger grocery and chain stores join NPA. A major chain with multiple stores would have the same voting power as my single retail store in New Port Richey, Fla.

I know some retailers may be nervous about what this change would mean for NPA. A work group made up of members like you thoroughly researched this issue and determined that this would be the best path forward for NPA. The NPA Board of Directors agreed, and now I’m asking for your vote.

When you get your ballot in the mail this summer—retailers and suppliers alike—please cast your vote for the future of NPA and support the proposed bylaws changes.

Jeff Wright owns Wright’s Nutrients in New Port Richey, Fla. He serves as president and has been a Natural Products Association member since 1994.

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