New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Articles from 2019 In February


Stop listening to the news: Why the US Government is pro-global trade, and how it can help your brand


“One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers.”Gwendolyn Brooks

If cats could listen to the news, they too would be inclined to think that our government is not currently pro-global trade and pro-export, especially given all the “news” about trade tensions with China. Of course, nothing could be further from reality. In this article I hope to bridge that gap between perception and reality. I also want to introduce you to the bridge–the hard-working civil servants and the organizations that stand ready to help you, encourage you, and partner with you–for the sole purpose of assisting you in offering your Made in the USA brand to a global consumer base that is truly begging for it.

“Our mission is to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses develop and expand export sales,” said Allan Christian, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service / International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. “Why do we do this? Because the U.S. Government realizes that by helping, particularly small to medium-sized businesses expand their sales outside the U.S., we’re helping these businesses to grow and thrive AND helping them create jobs in the U.S.”

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Allan and many of his colleagues for several years and I can share with you that their enthusiasm for helping U.S. companies grow is contagious. The U.S. Commercial Service is tireless in their approach to export business development–not just in the multitude of trade programs and educational seminars they offer, but in the expert one-on-one advice that helps steer brands of all sizes and shapes toward a successful entry into the world of export. They will also introduce you to many other strategically positioned governmental partners.

As with every business, the partnerships you create are often the most beneficial relationships to enabling growth. “We work with many food and beverage brands, and a wide range of manufactured product producers. Those food and beverage brands have U.S. agricultural products as a part of their ingredient decks, which creates an opportunity for us to work closely with a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Together, we have a network of offices in most U.S. consulates and embassies around the world. Through these offices we have staff on the ground responsible for conducting market research and creating market reports, which enables companies to look at opportunities in these countries/markets as well as to understand the potential barriers to entry.”

As Allan reminds us, the U.S. Government does this extensive global market research in an effort to help and guide you. “What you need is a road map, so we provide a lot of resources to help you navigate export. Every year our international offices, in partnership with FAS and the U.S. State Department, develop Country Commercial Guides for about 100 countries, what is in effect an A to Z guide to exporting to these countries. What do U.S. exporters need to know about doing business in these countries? What challenges will they face and what are the greatest opportunities?” Allan went on to say, “Our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service do a lot of that same reporting detailing international market opportunities and challenges for U.S. food and beverage products and agricultural commodities. Their annual Foreign Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards reports provide an excellent blueprint for understanding which countries are going to afford more opportunity for a U.S. company’s particular product/brand.”

Food and Beverage agricultural brands also have access to regional export organizations that, in addition to tremendous educational opportunities, also provide international trade show support. Here on the west coast they are called WUSATA: Western United States Agricultural Trade Association. They offer foreign country trade show booth space, introductions to international buyers for your brand’s products, and even interpreters to help in discussions and negotiations. Of even greater interest to exporting brands are the FundMatch programs they provide. FundMatch doubles your export marketing budget by providing 50 percent cost reimbursement on eligible international marketing expenses. Brands can request annual funds ranging from $2,500 up to $300,000, based upon exporting experience. To learn more, see the complete list of regional agricultural trade associations listed below.

Speaking of funding and partners, Allan wanted me to meet Jim Newton. “I am one of twenty-one International Trade Finance Specialists across the country working on behalf of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that are focused solely on providing export financing for small businesses,” said Jim. “Many of these companies are already exporting and many are aspiring to export. We’re providing them both working capital and term-debt financing to be able to position themselves for overseas markets. These programs are really for the “early to export companies” that qualify for these finance programs. Therefore, the funds are often used for marketing and promotional efforts, providing samples to foreign buyers, and for travel expenses to meet with prospective buyers overseas.”

Of important note, when you qualify for this program, the SBA offers a 90 percent guarantee to your financial institution. This guarantee can greatly mitigate your bank’s sensitivity to export financing.

We have yet to really scratch the surface of all the export programs and partnerships offered by the U.S. Government. So please, take some time to click on the URL’s below to learn more about how our government stands ready to help you create jobs via export. Until then, here are some final words from Allan, “Let me end by mitigating some fears. Whether you first meet me, or someone from the Foreign Agricultural Service, or your regional agricultural trade association, or your state Department of Agriculture, or your International Trade Finance Specialist, or anyone else in this export loop, we all know each other and we are all here to help guide you in the right direction by providing you with the connections to the next most logical person or team for you to discuss and plan your export goals with. That’s what I love most about this job. There’s a lot of camaraderie, and we all understand we can best help people if we all work together to help them achieve their goals”

I can’t think of a better place to leave this discussion for now. Well, except to remind you that there is always a big gap between perception and reality. So, like your cat, “Stop listening to the news!”

Informational Links: A wealth of information and market research to help U.S. companies learn about the benefits of exporting, prepare themselves for international business, and discover opportunities for business around the world. 

Export Education Guide: A comprehensive educational series on exporting.  Excellent resource for new to export companies and exporters that could use a refresher on specific topics related to international trade. “How To” video collection: A comprehensive video collection to help small businesses become better equipped to export.

  • Get Ready to Export: Part of our Exporting Basics series, these videos outline the important steps U.S. companies should take to begin exporting overseas and prepare for international success! 
  • International Market Entry Strategy: Establishing a market entry strategy can be difficult.  Watch these videos to be better equipped to enter the exciting exporting world. 
  • Find International Buyers and Make International Sales: Discover the many ways to find foreign buyers, including: using local sales representatives, taking advantage of customized exporting services, attending trade shows or trade missions, and connecting through ecommerce. 
  • Get Paid and Finance Your Export Transactions: This video series highlights the many payment methods and export financing programs available for U.S. exporters. 
  • Make the Export Sale: Learn about the necessary steps to making that export sale. This includes preparing your product for export, identifying any free trade agreements in your target country, becoming familiar with the shipping requirements, establishing a pricing strategy, and completing all required documentation.

Market Research: Learn about your product’s potential in a given market, the market’s business practices, and best opportunities for success.

  • Country Commercial Guides: Market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for over 125 countries prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwide.
  • Industry Focused Research: industry information updated regularly by U.S. Commercial Service staff around the world 
  • International Healthcare Technologies Resource Guide: This guide provides a matrix of opportunities of subsector exports to over 70 countries as well as country specific information on foreign markets for Healthcare Technologies.

Foreign Agricultural Service: FAS is a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture agency that assists U.S. companies in developing/expanding exports of U.S. agricultural, food and beverage products throughout the world.  To connect with their international offices and access their Global Agricultural Information Network and other international market reports.

State Regional Trade Groups: FAS supports four State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs), which in turn assist U.S. companies with creating and expanding export markets for value-added food and agricultural products. The SRTGs provide exporter training, export market opportunity information, trade shows and international buyer missions, and support for export market development through the FAS-funded Market Access Program.

U.S. Small Business Administration: SBA’s Office of International Trade provides U.S. small businesses with access to short-term working capital through its Export Express and Export Working Capital  Programs (EWCP), Term Loans for plant and equipment through its International Trade Loan (ITL) Program, and also provides matching grants for export market development through their State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grants.

For information on U.S. SBA programs: Jim Newton, Regional Export Finance Manager for Oregon and SW Washington, Tel: 503-326-5498 or [email protected]

U.S. EXIM Bank: The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. provides U.S. businesses with working capital loan guarantees, direct loans for export working capital, guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers, and export credit insurance, which allows exporters to safeguard their foreign receivables, transferring risk of nonpayment by int’l buyers to EXIM Bank.

Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)

Food Export Association of the Midwest United States

Food Export USA Northeast

Southern U.S. Trade Association

Craig Ostbo is co-founder and the Chief Brand & Marketing Officer of hoopla Global, an eCommerce retail and logistics operator in China featuring exclusively Made in the USA natural, organic, and sustainable CPG brands. You can email Craig with any questions at [email protected].

[email protected]: Scientists extract low-cost, high-quality CBD from yeast | New EU rule on organic meat to affect Jews, Muslims

The federal government legalized hemp in the Farm Bill passed in 2018.

‘High’ tech: CBD can be made with genetically engineered microbes (AKA yeast)

Bioengineered microscopic fungi (AKA yeast) can produce both THC and CBD, meaning scientists can now grow—and engineer—cannabinoids in a lab. This has huge implications; firstly, extracting THC and CBD in this way is significantly cheaper than conventional methods by over 99 percent. Secondly, scientists can bioengineer THC and CBD to have specific, targeted effects, such as high levels of relaxation. Bioengineered yeast is also how scientists at cell-cultured milk company Perfect Day are producing dairy-free milk. Read more at The Spoon …


A new EU rule on organic meat will have an outsized impact on European Muslims and Jews


The Court of Justice of the European Union this week ruled that “unless a food animal has been stunned before undergoing a religious slaughtering, it cannot bear the EU’s ‘organic’ label.” This ruling, if passed definitively in France, will exclude many Muslims and Jews from the organic meat market as these communities typically follow religious rules regarding animal slaughter that do not incorporate prior stunning. However, the court ruling also raises another question—“how important are the final seconds of an animal’s life when thinking about its meat as organic,” as opposed to how the animal was treated during the course of its overall life? Read more at Quartz 


Martha Stewart is teaming up with the world’s largest legal marijuana producer to produce CBD products for pets

Today, Canopy Growth announced that Martha Stewart will be joining the company as an advisor. Specifically, Stewart will be developing and positioning a line of products that will explore hemp CBD’s uses for both pets and humans. Stewart’s long-held “status as a domestic icon reveals the massive mainstream potential of legalized marijuana, especially in the form of non-psychoactive CBD.” Read more at Business Insider …


Will an appeals court make the EPA ban a pesticide linked to serious health risks?

While glyphosate has gotten the bulk of attention in recent months, another popular pesticide is wreaking havoc on farmworkers and rural residents surrounding agricultural operations. Chlorpyrifos is still sprayed on crops such as apples, corn, soybeans and Christmas trees even though the EPA “decided to phase the popular pesticide out of household use back in 2000.” One study found that children with more chlorpyrifos in their blood at birth “scored lower on memory, verbal comprehension and reasoning tests.” Now the EPA is appealing a decision from a three-judge panel ruling that the organization had to ban the herbicide, and the full 9th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case against the EPA in late March. Read more at NPR …


Why food could be the best medicine of all

A growing number of medical programs have arisen in recent years that encourage patients to treat food as “medicine that can have as much power to heal as drugs.” Although this knowledge is a foundational belief in the natural products industry, widespread adoption has thus far been difficult because diet changes require abundant access to affordable fresh foods and the time to prepare them—certainly not as easy a task as popping a pill. Luckily, insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are now joining doctors to cover tailored healthy meals to help patients avoid costly trips to the emergency room, and studies have shown that programs such as the Fresh Food Farmacy have drastically lowered patients' rates of serious diabetes complications. Read more at Time 

In Session

Download here: Natural Products Expo West 2019 conference education presentation index


Click on the images below for each session's PowerPoint deck.


Building Bridges Between Farmers & Brands

building bridges.jpg


Climate Day Keynote: Tom Chi



Connecting with the Changing Consumer



The Digital Marketing Summit



Fueling Sales in an Omnichannel World



Global Export Series



Growing the Plant-Based Market

growing plants.jpg


Innovations for Good in Organic



Making the Impossible Possible: Big Thinking for Sustainable Packaging

sustainable packaging.jpg


Natural Products Business School



Natural Products Hemp & CBD Summit



The NCN Funding Forum



The SMART Retailers Breakfast

smart retailers.jpg


The State (and Future) of Natural & Organic



The Supplement Roundtable



What’s NEXT? Products, Trends & Innovations Driving the Growth of Health & Wellness Brands



Working Together Toward a Good Food Future: Presented by Esca Bona

esca bona.jpg

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Fishpeople makes waves to change the seafood industry and attract new consumers

Fishpeople Kipp Baratoff and Duncan Berry of Fishpeople

Fishpeople co-founders Kipp Baratoff and Duncan Berry readily admit that we humans haven’t been the best at treating our oceans with respect; some 90 percent of the large fish are gone. In their own words, “The world doesn’t need another seafood company, it needs a radically different one.” Thus in 2012 was born Fishpeople, the Portland, Oregon, company on a mission to “reimagine consumers’ relationship to the sea,” focused on “the where, what and how of the harvest so that it is sustainable for future generations.”

Six years later, that mission hasn’t changed. “We’re still here trying to create the “right” kind of demand for seafood, which is a demand that will make our consumers and our rural communities and oceans healthier, and that’s really the heart of what we do,” shares Baratoff, who serves as vice president of operations for the company, while Berry heads up innovation. New Hope Network caught up with both leaders and Vice President of Marketing Jen Paragallo to learn more about the brand.

How does your business promote sustainable fishing?

Kipp Baratoff: The short version: We have nine sourcing principles for a fishery to be included in our portfolio. Screening relates to our adherence process to ensure that stocks are healthy, there’s limited by-catch, you’re not destroying habitat, etc.

What makes Fishpeople unique?

Duncan Berry: We’ve been an industry really stuck in many ways back in the ’50s. We have not innovated like other proteins. Consumers are looking at seafood as cheap and not honoring it for what it is, so one of the ways in which we’re different is we do. We’re saying this is the premium protein on the planet, and it should be put into meals and used in such a way that highlights and builds on that. That’s one of the primary ways we’re different from the Goliaths that dominate the seafood industry.

Every Fishpeople product has a Trace Your Fish code to promote 100 percent transparency. What’s been the customer response, and does it influence retailer purchase decision?

Jen Paragallo: We get great website traffic from the tracking codes. I think retailers especially love it because we do the tracking code as a shortcut to trust. Even if you’re not going to take the time to type it in, the fact that a brand is printing this code on every single one of its packages helps consumers trust that brand.

How and where did you launch your first product?

DB: We started out wanting to do value-added number one: we had four primary soups, all of them premium. We didn’t want to put our toe in fresh because of the losses in the industry around spoilage, so we turned to what we thought was a 21st century technology, which is retorting … putting raw ingredients in a bag, sealing them and then pressure cooking them basically. We believed people would be very interested in alternatives to the can at the time.

Fishpeople jerkyWe started out in farmer’s markets just wanting to field test a bunch of things, but we very swiftly moved to what we call the ‘beacon retailers,’ which is a fairly typical path for natural. We launched on the West Coast [in New Seasons] and then slowly expanded … we moved into Whole Foods and started getting into the national players. I think more rapidly than most, we jumped into conventional quite quickly because they’d heard about us, really loved our packaging and the traceability piece, and they asked us to highlight that.

JP: We also sell online on Amazon, Thrive Market and direct from our own website.

What drives your line extensions?

JP: When I first joined Fishpeople, most of the innovation was driven from the supply side versus it being consumer-led. That’s where our meal kit came from: consumers saying, ‘I want to eat better wild-caught seafood; I want it to be at an affordable price point; I want to cook it right every time.’ So we came out with a [$9.99 two-serving meal] kit that has moisture-locking foil, with step-by-step instructions and a chef-crafted topper. It is so easy, it is foolproof.

Then we moved to jerky and our Ready, Set, Salmon. Jerky is crowded, but higher-end proteins are what’s driving the growth. There’s very little great-tasting seafood jerky out there, and I think retailers have been excited about the incremental quality we bring to this category by bringing in a new consumer who’s looking to live a little lighter. And the genesis of Ready, Set, Salmon was incredible: great-tasting, oven-roasted wild Alaskan salmon that’s as easy as opening the pouch.

Can you share a bit about price sensitivity and value proposition?

KB: Industry has not done a good job helping the consumer understand fish is more expensive than chicken and beef, and it’s healthier. As a result, that’s where price sensitivity comes: they’re comparing it and they’re not used to seeing a high-value, quality marine protein source that they can get for anything other than $2. It’s frustrating, because the industry has gotten in its own way of serving the consumer properly, and then we don’t give them the quality that they deserve or the actual experience they deserve.

JP: We’re a B Corp, which we take credit for on our packaging, and consumers value that. They value the purity of the ingredients.

What are the current trends in the seafood category and how do you align with them?

JP: Everybody’s trying to make it simpler. This is an incredibly nutrient-dense protein but it’s hard for the average person. A lot of people are using the term ‘sustainability’ now and it’s not a regulated term, so I think brands like us that go the extra mile with regard to clarifying to consumers what it means to be sustainable—helping them dive deeper into the story behind their fish—are the ones that are going to rise to the top with regard to authenticity.

KB: We need to colonize the grocery store: seafood all over the place, not just one place in the store. Because grocers don’t have any power SKUs in seafood unless it’s behind the glass, we’re going to not only give you everything for every usage occasion, but we’re going to find you everywhere you go in the store, so that we can have a breadth of products that not only builds brand, but does the best for teaching and engaging the consumer.

What are your biggest supply chain issues?

DB: We are 100 percent American, 100 percent wild caught. One of the greatest challenges is we are hunter-gathers; biology is always throwing us curveballs. I think also for us is just back to the fact that the industry is really stuck in many ways in operationally driven legacy companies. From that very first product launch, we built it backwards to that. We asked, ‘What’s important to consumers?’ literally at the plate level, and then we built the supply chain backwards.

We also want to tell the story … four generations of industrial food can’t wipe out this yearning that we have for connecting deeply with the context of our food, and this brings me to the other big piece … there’s a trust issue from the consumer to the seafood industry, a huge trust issue. We’re in the business of truth; we’re giving a farmers market intimacy at a scale across the entire country.

What’s one thing that’s surprised you in running this company?

DB: It’s a very difficult industry. It’s impossible to start from your garage and have this instant success story because of the complexity of this wild hunting-gathering interface, and the fact that there are boats involved and the sea and weather and all these different things. So that’s one piece. The other piece that I really love about how we’ve responded to this complexity is that we are a very purposeful company. This is food, so we should also be playful. You look at our logo and it really communicates that. Even in the most difficult times, there’s a lot of laughter at our headquarters. We try to keep it light so that the love, happiness and lightness goes into our food.

Court advances Organic Trade Association's organic animal welfare lawsuit


The Organic Trade Association on Thursday hailed the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the association has presented solid arguments that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards has caused harm to the organic sector, and that the association has the legal standing to contest the agency's  withdrawal of the rule.

"The court has recognized the harm to organic producers, to organic businesses, and to the integrity of the Organic seal that the USDA's arbitrary and capricious stance against this important organic standard has already had, and the potential for even greater damage," said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. "Our case will now advance. We are confident our case is strong and we look forward to winning this legal battle to uphold organic standards."

In its ruling, the Court rejected USDA's arguments that the case against the rule's withdrawal should be dismissed, saying "the OLPP (Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices) Withdrawal Rule drops the baseline for USDA certification and alters the regulatory landscape to the detriment of OTA's members. Just as OTA's members would have had standing to challenge any rollbacks of USDA's organic certification program before the Final OLPP Rule, so too they have standing now to challenge rollbacks of the USDA's certification program as constituted after the Final OLPP Rule."   

In its lawsuit, the Organic Trade Association also argued that the USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act by failing to consult with the National Organic Standards Board. In refusing to dismiss this argument, the court said, "The Final OLPP Rule was the largest and most important organic rule promulgated since the 2010 Access to Pasture Rule and USDA consulted over its development with the Board. As such, ... § 6503 may have required USDA to consult on a timely basis with the National Organic Standards Board before finalizing the OLPP Withdrawal Rule, which is similarly large and important."

"It's been almost two years since we stood up on behalf of the entire organic sector to protect organic integrity, advance animal welfare, and demand the government keep up with the industry and the consumer in setting organic standards. We will continue to insist that organic standards be robust, consistent and clear in order to stay meaningful," said Batcha.

The court vacated an order calling for oral argument on the motion and chose to rule solely on the pleadings to advance the case.

The USDA in March of 2018 withdrew the final Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) regulation, which was to go into effect in May. The agency contends that the Organic Food and Production Act (OFPA) does not give the National Organic Program the authority to regulate animal welfare. The Organic Trade Association is arguing that this claim is a radically different view from any administration since the adoption of the National Organic Program, and one that cannot be legally supported.

Source: The Organic Trade Association

In Session

Livestream from Natural Products Expo West 2019: The State (and Future) of Natural and Organic


The rate of change kept pace in 2018 for the U.S. natural and organic products industry. With annual consumer sales now totaling well over $200 billion across the industry, natural and organic has tipped into the mainstream and is now defining the future for food, nutrition and CPG. In this year’s annual Natural Products Expo West State of Natural and Organic session, New Hope Network’s Carlotta Mast will provide an overview of 2018 sales and growth by product category and sales channel, while exploring the top macro forces and trends fueling growth in and shaping the future of the industry. Nick McCoy, co-founder and managing director of Whipstitch Capital, will use data and market insights from SPINS to offer a deeper dive into sales and growth, with a focus on:

  • Declining conventional product categories and the opportunities this opens up for natural and organic.
  • Why natural and organic brands shouldn’t ignore the natural channel.
  • What’s driving growth in the thriving plant-based movement.
  • When negative sales velocity can actually be a good thing.

Turning our attention to the future, an industry pioneer (Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market), a master industry collaborator (Lara Dickinson, executive director of OSC2), an agricultural visionary and changemaker (Philip Taylor, founder of Mad Agriculture) and an entrepreneurial rising star and nutrition maven (Katlin Smith, founder and CEO of Simple Mills) will join the second half of this session, which will feature a lively and case study-based panel discussion on such topics as:

  • The changing consumer and addressing ever-present consumer confusion.
  • Current supply chain limitations for natural & organic and how we can revolutionize the supply chain to meet the needs of the future, create new opportunities for industry and farmers, and mitigate climate change.
  • How radical collaboration can create solutions to our greatest challenges and opportunities that wouldn’t be available to companies and organizations working in isolation.


  • Carlotta Mast, SVP of Content & Insights, Market Leader, New Hope Network, Informa Health & Nutrition
  • Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills
  • Lara Dickinson, Executive Director, OSC2, Partner, Pluot Consulting
  • Nick McCoy, Managing Director & CoFounder, Whipstitch Capital
  • Philip Taylor, Founder, Mad Agriculture
  • Walter Robb, Former CoCEO, Whole Foods Market, Principal, Stonewall Robb Advisors


Download presentation slides

Click the image below to download the presentation deck for The State (and Future) of Natural and Organic.


In Session

Livestream from Natural Products Expo West 2019: Climate Day


Concerned about climate change but not sure what your company can do? Already taking action but seeking to make new commitments and a larger impact?

Join industry leaders at Natural Products Expo West Climate Day 2019 for inspirational keynotes, executive roundtables, workshops, networking, climate awards and a rockin' reception. Get the tools, information and inspiration you need to help your company take meaningful action to reverse global warming.


9-9:05 a.m.: Welcome

  • Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative

9:05-10:15 a.m.: From the Ground Up: Building Resilient Agriculture Supply Chains
Carbon farming and regenerative agricultural practices represent a huge opportunity for companies to work with their supply chains to reverse food sector emissions through carbon soil sequestration. In this session, we’ll look at how three companies are working to strengthen supplier relationships to reduce their environmental impact and to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people and communities in their value chain.
We’ll hear specific practices they are employing—from agroforestry supply chain practices with Dr. Bronner’s to Lotus Food’s work to reduce methane emissions and improve the lives of women farmers. General Mills Natural and Organic division will share details about their outcomes-based approach that highlights regenerative practices from supply chain producers and how this comes to life through some of their brands.

  • Katherine DiMatteo, SFTA
  • Gero Leson, Dr. Bronner's
  • Safianu Moro, Serendipalm
  • Shauna Sadowski, General Mills
  • Kenneth Lee, Lotus Foods

10:15-10:30 a.m.: Break

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Breaking Down Barriers, Overcoming Resistance and Finding Funding: How You Can Advance Climate Action

  • Deanna Bratter, Danone
  • Joseph Button, Straus Family Creamery
  • Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative
  • Alyssa Harding, Justin's
  • Sara Newmark, MegaFood

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Lunch Break

12:30 - 12:40pm           Welcome Back

  • Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative
  • Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network

12:40 - 12:50pm           National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards

  • Climate Collaborative
  • National Co+op Grocers

12:50 - 12:55pm            Dr. Bronner's & Organic Valley Special Announcement

12:55 - 1:05pm              Audience Engagement

1:05 - 1:30pm                Dialogue: Making Sure Climate Action Benefits Us ALL

  • Nancy Hirshberg, Hirshberg Strategic
  • Michelle Romero, Green For All

1:30 - 1:50pm                Sourcing for the Health of Customers & the Environment

  • Katherine DiMatteo, SFTA
  • Greg Fleishman, Foodstirs
  • Galit Laibow, Foodstirs
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar, Foodstirs

1:50 - 2:45pm                Catalyzing Consumers

  • Ryan Black, Sambazon
  • Brenna Davis, PCC Community Markets
  • Edward Maibach, George Mason University
  • Sylvia Tawse, Fresh Ideas Group

2:45-3 p.m.: Break

3-3:10 p.m.: National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards Part 2

  • Climate Collaborative
  • National Co+op Grocers

3:10-3:40 p.m.: Keynote: Building the Prototype for Our Sustainbale Future

  • Tom Chi, Google X & Rapid Prototyping

3:40-4:30 p.m.: Leadership Roundtable: Insights from the Top on Climate Action

  • Chris Mann, Guayaki
  • Sheryl O'Loughlin, REBBL
  • Corinne Shindelar, INFRA
  • George Siemon, Organic Valley

4:30-4:40 p.m.: We've Come a Long Way: Climate Collaborative Impact and Progress

4:40-4:55 p.m.: National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards Part 3

  • Climate Collaborative
  • National Co+op Grocers

4:55-5:30 p.m. A Conversation with Yvon Chouinard

  • Dr. Zach Bush, Farmer's Footprint, Restore
  • Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia
In Session

Livestream from Natural Products Expo West 2019: Natural Products Hemp and CBD Summit


There’s almost nothing that nature’s most nearly perfect plant cannot do. Industrial hemp-derived, full-spectrum hemp oil is the hottest product in supplement aisles. But the cannabis revolution is about more than just cannabinoids. Hemp for everything from clothes to food is at hand.

Join us to learn how to educate customers, how to prepare for regulators, how pioneering brands stand out in the marketplace and how to be a better ambassador for hemp. 

This session is underwritten by:

  • Ananda Hemp
  • Bluebird Botanicals
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • CV Sciences
  • Elixinol
  • Functional Remedies
  • Green Roads
  • Restorative Botanicals

9-9:05 a.m.: Opportunity Knocks
Opening with Todd Runestad, New Hope Network.

9:05-9:25 a.m.: The Industrial Hemp Opportunity
Colorado’s leading lobbyist in the cannabis space will take you down into the political trenches of the pioneering cannabis state, then up into the heavens at hemp’s power to completely disrupt almost every existing industry on earth, from the medical and nutritional to the industrial and agricultural. Twenty-five thousand uses? Take that, soybeans and corn! 

  • Cindy Sovine, Sovine Consulting

9:25-9:45 a.m.: The CBD Business Opportunity
What is the state of the hemp-derived CBD market today? This information-packed session will reveal fresh data findings from proprietary NBJ research including surveys of manufacturers and consumers as well as totally unique insights from NEXT product concept testing—the NEXT team provided 26 hemp and CBD product concepts to 1,000 consumers nationwide to see what type of products and claims most resonated. NBJ's Claire Morton will also present key takeaways from the NBJ 2019 Hemp & CBD Guide, published in February 2019. 

  • Claire Morton, Nutrition Business Journal

9:45-9:55 a.m.: Brand Highlight: Ananda Hemp
Ananda Hemp COO John Ryan and Medical Director Alex Capano have a fireside chat about the company’s seed genetics and the value of research. 

  • Alex Capano, Ananda Hemp
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network
  • John Ryan, Ananda Hemp

9:55-10:15 a.m.: The ECS Health Opportunity
You’ve heard about the endocannabinoid system [ECS], but you can’t quite explain it in an elevator. Longtime supplement industry chief science officers and naturopaths Carl Germano, author of The Road to Ananda (Healthy Line Publishing, 2019), and Jason Mitchell, ND, president of HempFusion, are educators extraordinaire. They will get you up to speed on the ECS so you can authoritatively talk to customers and consumers about the “master conductor” of the body’s pursuit of balance. 

  • Carl Germano, The Road to Ananda
  • Jason Mitchell, HempFusion 

10:15-10:35 a.m.: The Regenerative Ag Opportunity
In 2018 America grew 75,000 acres of hemp. And 8 million acres of cotton. And 90 million acres of corn and soy. The potential for hemp (and CBD leading the way today) to drive more organic and regenerative ag practices can reward organic farmers and bring forth the change to shift acres to more climate-friendly soil-building systems. 

  • John Roulac, RE Botanicals & Nutiva 

10:35-10:45 a.m.: Break. Take Ten. 

10:45-11:05 a.m.: Testing, 1, 2, 3
How do you prevent getting sold a bill of goods? When do you need to employ quality and identity tests? Do you want to know the answer? Everybody all along the value chain from farmers to oil extractors to retailers need to be in on the testing game. You need to test for cannabinoid purity and potency, the terpene profile, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals—and rules change for every state! 

  • Austin Stevenson, Nanogen Labs 

11:05-11:30 a.m.: The Quality Opportunity
What to look for—and look out for—when sourcing hemp oil-derived CBD. This panel will discuss best practices for growing and sourcing quality hemp. 

  • Michael McGuffin, American Herbal Products Association
  • James Ott, CFH Ltd.
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network
  • Marielle Weintraub, U.S. Hemp Authority

11:30 a.m.-noon: Disruptors, Entrepreneurs and Revolutionaries
Pull up a combine—and a lawyer—and wish upon a shining star with these fascinating hemp pioneers. Hear their tales of derring-do as they raised capital, sourced hemp from around the world, implemented quality-control measures, marketed differently, and are helping hemp disrupt agriculture and nutrition while building a hemptastic future. 

  • Tim Gordon, Functional Remedies
  • Chris Husong, Elixinol
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network
  • Jourdan Samel, Evo Hemp
  • Ari Sherman, Evo Hemp

Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch

1-1:05 p.m.: Welcome Back 

  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network

1:05-1:15 p.m.: Brand Highlight: CV Sciences
Retail leader and maker of PlusCBD Oil talks about their retail strategy and why they put “CBD” boldly front-of-pack. 

  • Joseph Dowling, CV Sciences
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network

1:15-1:40 p.m.: Marketing CBD: PhD-Level Practices
What strategies to use to reach consumers in-person, in-store and online? How to market CBD when online platforms ban your product category? What non-traditional ideas should you approach—event marketing, sponsorships, open your own CBD store? We’ve assembled veteran PR pro Steve Hoffman, managing partner at Compass Natural, who has represented a dozen CBD companies; Jessica Mulligan, founder of CBD startup Winged Nutrition (launching at Natural Products Expo West 2019) and marketing maven previously with NeoCell; and Klee Irwin, owner of legacy supplements brand Irwin Naturals, who is on a mission to make CBD more accessible in the mass market. 

  • Steve Hoffman, Compass Natural
  • Klee Irwin, Irwin Naturals
  • Jessica Mulligan, Winged Nutrition
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network

1:40-2 p.m.: The Pet Opportunity
Rob Silver, DVM, has been treating companion animals for more than 30 years. Author of Medical Marijuana & Your Pet, Silver will take us through the state of the research on cats and dogs, and how to use hemp oil to provide relief from anxiety, pain and quality-of-life issues. 

  • Rob Silver, RxVitamins & Folium Biosciences

2-2:10 p.m.: Brand Highlight: Bluebird Botanicals
Listen up as we talk with Michael Harinen, head of marketing and branding at hemp pioneer and Colorado brand Bluebird Botanicals (and our favorite hemp Viking) on using Bluebird to make a positive impact on humanity and the world. 

  • Michael Harinen, Bluebird Botanicals
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network

2:10-2:20 p.m.: Break. Take Ten.

2:20-2:45 p.m.: Retailers Open Their Doors to Hemp
How do retailers select hemp oil brands? Should you be expansive about product formats? Do you have an application or verification process? Do you ask for lab tests? Samples? What’s in Lucky’s DNA that made it the first natural chain to embrace hemp-derived CBD? 

  • Mari Geier, Nuts 'n Berries
  • Christine Kapperman, New Hope Senior Content Director and Editor-in-chief Natural Foods Merchandiser
  • Annie Rouse, Anavii Market
  • Sindy Wise, Lucky's Market

2:45-2:55 p.m.: Brand Highlight: Sagely Naturals
This design-forward line co-founded by Kerrigan Behrens has elegant packaging and is introducing hemp to the personal care sector while gamely playing on Instagram. 

  • Kerrigan Behrens, Sagely Naturals
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network

2:55-3:15 p.m.: Inside Baseball
This lively talk will follow the money from Wall Street to evangelicals, will expose the cheatery and bad quality practices that have hung up rookies, what Big Money forces stand opposed to hemp disrupting their business—and how teamwork and the hemp culture can lead the world to be more connected and clean. 

  • Sean Murphy, Hemp Business Journal
  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network
  • Mickey Schuett, GBMM Brokers
  • Rob Streisfeld, PhD, BeyondBrands

3:15-3:25 p.m.: Natural Products Expo: Policies Explained
The New Hope Network Standards Department is the gatekeeper for companies that want to exhibit their wares at Natural Products Expo West and East. Hear what mistakes and oversights trip companies up, and how standards is the best friend you could ask for in getting your company compliant to the current state of regulatory affairs.

  • Todd Runestad, New Hope Network
  • Michelle Zerbib, New Hope Network

3:25-4 p.m.: Legalized It! Or Did We?
The 2018 Farm Bill was a monumental step forward in the annals of cannabis freedom, but it did not solve all problems. Attorneys continue to play whack-a-mole in state legislatures and counties. The specter of an empowered FDA looms over every CBD company and retailer. What more can the feds do? Your fretful, up-all-night questions will be answered. 

  • Rend Al-Mondhiry, Amin Talati Upadyhe
  • Josh Long, Natural Products Insider
  • Jonathan Miller, Frost Brown Todd & U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  • Jason Sapsin, Faegre Baker Daniels


Click the image below to download the Natural Products Hemp and CBD Summit slides.



What’s worse than palm oil? Saying 'no' to it

Palm Done Right Ecuador forest

Think palm oil, think deforestation. Say no to palm oil and deforestation will be halted. This has been the simplified reasoning around the complex topic of palm oil. There have been numerous calls to action to boycott palm oil, and “no palm” labeled products are finding their way onto the shelves in our grocery stores. Is it really that simple? Let’s take a deep dive into what is at stake here.

Why we use palm oil

Palm oil as an ingredient in everyday household products has grown rapidly over the last two decades. It is used in half of the food and personal care products found in grocery stores and accounted for 37 percent of global vegetable oil consumption in 2017/2018.

Consumption of vegetable oils worldwide

There are numerous reasons for the rapid increase of palm oil as an ingredient in such a broad variety of products. This outcome is the result of a mix of economic and political decisions taken by the U.S., EU and southeast Asian governments. The U.S. and EU ruling on (food) crop-based biofuels accelerated the use of palm oil. Indonesia and Malaysia, by far the largest producers of palm oil, used palm growing as an instrument to boost their economies. The efficient growing and high yield of palm oil led to large volumes being available in the market, at very competitive costs compared to other vegetable oils. This spurred the use of palm oil as an ingredient at the turn of the new millennium.

At the same time, while the use of palm oil grew more widespread, the incredible versatility of palm oil as an ingredient for food and personal care products became clear. Palm oil has many advantages and is a valuable ingredient for texture, taste, stability and shelf life. It offers a good replacement for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils containing transfats, butter and lard. Due to its properties, the use of palm oil ensures the high product quality and performance that consumers are seeking in the market.

While accounting for 37 percent of global vegetable oil consumption, palm oil is produced from just 10 percent of all farmland dedicated to growing vegetable oil crops. Knowing its outstanding efficiency and versatility, we need to be aware that moving away from palm oil and replacing it by other vegetable oils will lead to the need for more agricultural land, shifting deforestation and potentially inferior products.

Reformulation shifts deforestation

During the heightened debate around palm oil’s role in tropical biodiversity loss, leading organizations found consensus in the fact that deforestation would not be halted by reformulating products and boycotting palm oil. Instead, deforestation would be shifted to other places in the world. Or even, with the need for more agricultural land spurring more land use change, it would even worsen deforestation.

Two prominent environmental NGOs voiced their insights last year, when debates were mounting. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded in a recent report that boycotting palm oil would merely shift—rather than counter—losses to rainforests caused by agriculture. According to the report, existing vegetable oils that could theoretically replace palm oil would be far more damaging to the environment, because of their need to more land.

In a statement to The Jakarta Post, Kiki Taufik, head of Greenpeace Indonesia Global Forest Campaign, voiced Greenpeace’s position: “To be clear, Greenpeace is not anti-palm oil, it is anti-deforestation. If palm oil is banned, companies or governments might turn to other crops, which might replace palm oil’s role in deforestation [or even worsen it] in Indonesia and elsewhere. We support palm oil from producers or palm oil companies that aren’t destroying forests or exploiting people, and there’s plenty of palm oil that fills the bill.”

Can it be done?

Is reformulation really an option? Due to the properties of palm oil, reformulating product recipes may turn out to be difficult and costly, if we are to achieve the same product quality and performance.   

Last year Iceland Foods was the first UK supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all of its house brand products before the end of the year. A month into the new year, U.K. magazine The Grocer reported that Iceland rebranded some of its own-label ambient, chilled and frozen foods, after realizing it couldn’t remove palm oil from 32 products before the year end. Instead of reformulating those products without palm oil, Iceland decided to rebrand those products, so it would live up to its pledge.

Swiss retailer COOP took a completely different turn. Last year it announced publicly to be taking a big step forward to only use organic palm oil in their house brand products, also in their conventionally produced own label products.

Organic and sustainable palm oil is the better choice

Saying “no” to palm oil is worse than using it. Moving away from palm will have implications on the uptake of sustainable practices, as there will be no more incentives to do things right. We need to make sure incentives stay in place, by rewarding good practices, by rewarding deforestation-free and wildlife friendly palm oil. The conversation needs to shift to one of organic and sustainable supply. COOP has set an example we can all follow.

It’s up to all of us to consider what the future of palm oil could look like and what this could mean for tropical biodiversity and global conservation efforts. We believe organic and sustainable palm oil plays a role in shaping the future of palm, with farmers committed to agricultural practises that respect the forests and the animals that live inside it.

Stay tuned for our next article where we will explore solutions and how everyone has a role to play in shaping the future of palm oil.

This is the second article in a four-part series designed to demystify the complex topic of palm oil and help individuals separate fact from fiction, to make choices that are good for people and the planet. Monique van Wijnbergen, Natural Habitat’s sustainability and corporate communications director, is a company spokesperson for Palm Done Right, an international campaign to raise awareness around the positive ripple effects that happen when palm oil is grown for good.