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Industry News
April 14 , 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
Gaia Herbs Honored with AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award
Gaia Herbs (Brevard, NC) received the American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) “Herbal Industry Leader” award for 2010, presented during the annual member’s meeting March 11 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.

Each year, AHPA recognizes individuals and companies within their membership that make substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry. Accepting the award on behalf of the company, Greg Cumberford, vice president of strategic initiatives, noted, “It is a real honor to have stood at the podium to receive AHPA’s recognition, from an organization whose tireless work we admire so much. Gaia Herbs will keep working to earn the respect of our colleagues in the herbal industry.”

The Herbal Industry Leader award is presented to a company that is noted for its outstanding business practices.

For more information about Gaia Herbs, call (800) 831-7780 or visit www.gaiaherbs.com.

Tree of Life Announces EasyTree Ordering System
Tree of Life (St. Augustine, FL) announced the national launch of a new ordering system called EasyTree™.

Working in conjunction with leading industry technology company Living Naturally LLC (Sarasota, FL), Tree of Life’s exclusive EasyTree scanner is designed to replace MSI units with a state-of-the-art handheld supported by patented ordering technology from Living Naturally. The EasyTree system allows retailers to access the latest catalog data from Tree of Life and many of the leading direct manufacturers, creating orders at the shelf that can be submitted electronically around the clock. This program provides numerous benefits to retailers including a substantial reduction in ordering time, the ability to more easily and more effectively manage accurate retail pricing with electronic pricing updates, and visibility of all promotions available from their suppliers.

For more information about the EasyTree system, retailers should contact their Tree of Life sales representative or visit the demonstration website www.easytree.net.

Organic Products Retailer News
Merrigan Opening Speaker at OTA Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan will be the opening speaker at the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s 2010 Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days April 14 and 15 in Washington.

“Deputy Secretary Merrigan’s kick-off of the 2010 policy conference underscores the importance of organic as vibrant growing part of our nation’s agricultural economy,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director.

Following Merrigan’s opening address will be a talk by Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator of USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). Other speakers include:

• Dr. Temple Grandin, subject of a new biographical HBO film
• Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)
• Katherine DiMatteo, president of IFOAM’s World Board
• Jorge Garcia-Pratts, section head, fruits, vegetables and specialty crops, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service
• Keith Jones, staff director, House Committee on Horticulture
• Minister Counselor Anders Klöcker, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Royal Danish Embassy
• James M. Murphy, Jr., assistant US trade representative for Agricultural Affairs
• Francis Thicke, organic farmer and candidate for Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture
• Darci Vetter, deputy under secretary, USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service.

In addition, OTA and the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) will co-host Celebrate Organic Together, an evening reception April 14 in the House Agriculture Committee Hearing Room on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act, the 25th anniversary of OTA, the 20th anniversary of OFRF and the 10th anniversary of the publication of the NOP’s final rule. At the reception, OTA will present its 2010 Public Servant Award to Congressman Collin C. Peterson.

For more information, visit www.ota.com.

Mintel: Consumers Still Interested in Green
According to Mintel’s latest report on green living, the environment remains a concern for the majority of Americans—more than one-third (35 percent) of survey respondents say they would pay more for ‘environmentally friendly’ products.

“Given this increased interest in the environment over the past few years, nearly every segment of consumer products now offers a ‘green’ option for shoppers,” said Chris Haack, Mintel senior analyst. “Food and beverage and personal care are the two most mature categories and account for the majority of green products in the marketplace.”

After rapid sales growth of more than 24 percent from 2006-08, the natural and organic food and beverage category saw only slight growth in 2009 (1.8 percent) as the recession took its toll on nearly every sector of the consumer goods marketplace. Despite this stall, sales in this segment are forecast to grow nearly 20 percent from 2010-12. Only 21 percent of organic food buyers have cut down or eliminated organic purchasing, while 20 percent have switched to less expensive organic options. Meanwhile, nearly half (48 percent) are buying as much or more organic food than before the recession. This suggests that organic food is a core lifestyle element for many people who may make cuts in other areas of their budget before they will turn away from organics, said Mintel.

Sales of green personal care products increased by 18 percent from 2006-08 and, similar to food and beverage, saw only a slight incline in 2009 (1.2 percent). This segment is poised to resume rapid growth once consumer spending begins to recover from the current downturn, said Mintel, and one-third of all consumers have never tried organic or natural personal care products, suggesting that there is plenty of room for growth in this market.

According to Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD), new products with an organic or natural claim only encompassed five percent of all beauty and personal care product launches in 2006 but increased to nearly 10 percent in 2008 and held steady through 2009. According to Haack, “we expect to see a growing trend toward upscale green personal care products targeted to spas, salons and other high-end retail outlets in the coming years."

Nutrition Industry Executive News
Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus Hosts Lunch Briefing
The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, in cooperation with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Natural Products Association (NPA), recently hosted a speaker lunch briefing, “Functional Medicine: Frontline Against Chronic Disease.” Functional medicine, personalized healthcare that incorporates both conventional and alternative therapies, focuses on primary prevention and underlying causes for serious illness, and assessing and preventing complex chronic disease. This was the sixth in a series of speaker briefings since the inception of the Dietary Supplement Caucus in 2005. The speaker briefings are intended to educate Congressional staffers on important issues related to the safety and benefits of dietary supplements.

Co-chair of the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) opened the briefing. “I have been part of the [dietary supplement] industry for a long time, as a manufacturer and as a consumer of the products and now as a Congressman,” he said. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), a member of the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus reminded the crowd that, “people need to have choices” when it comes to health and wellness. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chair of the Subcommittee on Health, also attended the briefing and spoke with attendees afterwards.

The briefings will continue on a quarterly basis, focusing on topics relevant to the dietary supplement industry and wellness arena, and will feature speakers who will address the latest science and offer practical information. These briefings will also serve to position the Dietary Supplement Caucus as a resource for Congressional offices with questions regarding the benefit, quality and safety of dietary supplement products.

EAS Announces GMP Seminar
EAS Consulting Group will host a GMP seminar May 26-27 at its training facility in Alexandria, VA. This hands-on seminar covers the basics of how foods need to be labeled to comply with the complex set of labeling rules and covers the latest in food labeling issues that have gotten attention from FDA.

Participants will:

• Learn FDA food labeling requirements from labeling experts who helped to develop and implement the current regulations and have reviewed hundreds of labels for the industry;
• Learn of hot issues that have triggered recent FDA warning letters;
• Apply learning in practical work sessions; and
• Have specific issues addressed and discussed in a casual, interactive learning environment.

Individuals involved in management, regulatory affairs and quality; responsible for preparing or reviewing food labels; or consultants, auditors, attorneys and others interested in food labeling compliance are encouraged to attend.

Instructors include Elizabeth (Betty) Campbell, a 35-year veteran of FDA who served as the head of FDA’s Office of Food Labeling before becoming a labeling consultant in 1999 and James E. Hoadley, PhD, who during his 20-year FDA career, participated in the development of NLEA-implementing nutrition labeling and health claim regulations.

Each participant will receive Food Labeling Compliance Review (4th edition; hardback book and CD), a participant’s manual and the EAS Type Size Guide. The cost of the seminar is $1,200, and group rates and special rates for federal/state government employees apply.

To register, click here.

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