VRM, Inc.
HomeVitamin RetailerNatural PractitionerNutrition Industry Executive

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List iconSign up for our Bi-Monthly


Industry News
April 13, 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
Natural Products Industry Rallies on Capitol Hill
The Natural Products Association (NPA) hosted industry stakeholders and supporters from Alaska to Florida at the 14th Annual Natural Products Day in Washington, DC, on April 6. Attendees, who included a wide range of retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, met with members of Congress and their staffs about the industry and NPA’s legislative priorities, all of which promote greater consumer access to and awareness of natural products.

“We are delighted that so many NPA members and others in the industry took time out from their stores and companies to come to Washington, DC, to educate their elected officials,” said NPA Executive Director and CEO John Gay. “Coupled with NPA’s lobbying and grassroots efforts, Natural Products Day helps us educate a new Congress, in which about one in five legislators are new to the job.”

During their meetings, lawmakers were educated on the extensive regulatory structure governing dietary supplements, and on the health and economic benefits of the industry. They also learned about the NPA’s growing Natural Seal certification program, which now covers more than 600 health and beauty and homecare products and ingredients.

On the legislative front, attendees asked Congress to support the Tax Equity for Meal Replacements and Supplements Act, which would allow Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars to be used for supplements and meal replacements that are permitted to make health claims. In addition, lawmakers were asked to oppose the Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Abuse Reduction Act, which would needlessly place DHEA behind the counter, providing no benefit to consumers.

For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.

ReNew Life Starts “How Does Poo Move You?” Video Contest
ReNew Life Formulas (Tampa Bay, FL) has announced a new sweepstakes to encourage conversations surrounding elimination and natural digestive health. Visitors to the sweepstakes site are encouraged to create a video, no longer than 90 seconds using their creativity and humor to convey how elimination affects their daily life.

The “How Does Poo Move You?” Sweepstakes will run from April 2-June 1, 2011 and will award four prizes for the most imaginative videos. The grand prize winner will receive $3,000 in cash and $1,000 in ReNew Life products, while first, second and third runners up will also win cash and ReNew Life products. Video submissions will be judged based on overall artistry and humor, but judges will also take into account video votes, video comments and video sharing on the contest site, so contestants are encouraged to promote their video and solicit votes through social media outlets.

Participants in the sweepstakes should be aware of the contest rules (available on the website) and be sure that their submission is appropriate for a broad audience. “We’re looking for clever, sensational and conversation-starting videos. Funny is good,” said Brenda Watson, ReNew Life founder, formulator and president. “But be sure to keep the content clean and focus on the benefits of healthy elimination.”

In addition to encouraging digestive health conversations, the ReNew Life sweepstakes will also take aim at the global water crisis. ReNew Life will match all cash prizes with a charitable donation to Water.org, a non-profit organization that helps provide safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

For more information, visit www.howdoespoomoveyou.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
Organic: Part of the Strategy to Rebuild Rural America
Organic farming is an important part of the U.S. agricultural landscape, according to the message Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack delivered to participants at the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2011 Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days in Washington, DC.

“Organic producers are very entrepreneurial in nature. They’re in a position to create value-added products that provide a wealth of opportunities in rural America,” said Vilsack.

Organized by OTA and supported by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) under the theme “Advance Organic Together,” the conference focuses on the value of organic agriculture in providing jobs, supporting rural livelihoods and advancing an entrepreneurial spirit.

OTA released data onsite from OTA’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey that revealed the industry has grown from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $29 billion in 2010. Despite the nation’s worst economic downturn in 80 years, the organic industry has come out of the recession hiring employees, adding farms and increasing revenue.

“The USDA is creating financial assistance for organic because we recognize organic as a part of the strategy to rebuild rural America,” said Vilsack. “A lot of folks in rural America need help. One very good strategy is organic.”

For more information, visit www.ota.com.

Stonyfield Farm Kicks-Off “Just Eat Organic!” Education Campaign
Stonyfield Farm (Londonderry, NH) has launched the year-long organic education campaign “Just Eat Organic!” with two efforts designed to get people talking about organic: “Just Eat Organic,” a music video by Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield president and CEO; and “The Organic Moment,” an online space for people to share personal stories about what organic means to them.

Hirshberg’s “Just Eat Organic” rap video tells the story of America’s switch from family farms to modern agriculture, which let “big agriculture” profit while consumers got addicted to convenient foods that are bad for their health.

Stonyfield is collaborating with Honest Tea (Bethesda, MD), which produced a similar music video called “Just Drink Organic,” on a contest in honor of Earth Month. Site visitors can create a video for an opportunity to win $1,000 and a month’s supply of Stonyfield yogurt and Honest Tea. The deadline is April 30, 2011.

Stonyfield is also rolling out a new visual and interactive digital platform called “The Organic Moment,” featuring stories from individuals, groups, families and companies. The stories highlight what inspired them to start eating organic, how organic changed their lives and why organic is important.

Site visitors are invited to send in their stories as texts, photos or videos. All storytellers will be entered to win one year’s worth of organic groceries from Stonyfield and other leading organic brands.

For more information, visit www.stonyfield.com, www.justeatorganic.com, www.justdrinkorganic.com, or www.yourorganicmoment.com.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
Maxco Looks to Lead Industry in Sustainable Packaging
Maxco Supply, Inc. (Parlier, CA) is currently building a one-megawatt alternating c current photovoltaic (PV) solar system to power its packaging facility in Parlier. This is the latest innovative step from the company as it looks to become more sustainable. This solar system will offset more than 50 percent of Maxco’s electricity usage with clean, renewable energy harnessed from the sun.

The solar generation facility will be situated on a four-acre parcel site on Maxco’s property. The PV modules are non-reflective and convert sunlight into direct current electricity, consuming no fossil fuels and emitting no pollutants during operations. The project will produce approximately 1,684,070 kWh AC per year, which is the equivalent offset of about 1,209 metric tons of CO2. In addition, the project is completely sound free, so it will have no impact on the neighborhood.

“We’re very excited about implementing Maxco’s Solar City, as it speaks directly to our mission of providing truly sustainable products to our customers,” said Mark Flaming, Maxco’s vice president of sales and operations. “It’s good for the community, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for Maxco, which makes it a win/win for everyone!”

Maxco’s new solar system will be specially developed, engineered and constructed by Cenergy Power, and will include a fixed ground mount design.

For more information, visit www.maxcopackaging.com.

Silliker, OES Partner on Consulting and Training Programs
Silliker, the international network of food testing and consulting companies, has entered into a strategic partnership with Organic Education Solutions (OES) to provide training and consulting services to industry manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other stakeholders.

While the organic food industry is undergoing exponential growth—estimated at $75 billion in food and beverage sales in the U.S. alone—there is increased pressure for companies to comply with production and safety standards under the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).

OES, under the strategic partnership, will develop training programs that are designed to ensure the integrity of organic products, improve employee awareness and performance, and help companies meet and maintain NOP certification requirements. Silliker served as the sole and exclusive sponsor of the recently released training program, “Keep It Organic: Best Practices for Production Personnel” DVD.

Employing video clips, graphics and photographs, the bilingual training program introduces employees to organic food handling and production practices. Preventing commingling and contamination are among the many topics covered in the DVD, which is designed to help companies comply with NOP and Canadian Organic Product Regulations.

As part of the strategic partnership, Organic Concepts, an OES affiliate, will provide technical consulting services for Silliker clients who need to develop a certified organic program or update an existing program. Inspection and non-compliance remediation support are also included in the consulting services.

For more information, visit www.organicconcepts.info or www.silliker.com.

VRM, Inc.| 431 Cranbury Road, Suite C | East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | Phone: (732) 432-9600 | Fax: (732) 432-9288