Supplement Perspectives

Know Your Trade Association: the American Herbal Products Association

Here’s the latest installment of this month’s series. Get informed and get involved!

Editor's note: Contributors were asked to either complete a questionnaire or use it as the basis for a post. These are the words of the contributor, who were selected by the association. Any edits made were done for space considerations. Want to be included? Contact [email protected]

What is the purpose of your association?

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal products industry. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA serves members by working to improve market opportunities for companies that sell herbal and botanical products and ensure that consumers continue to enjoy informed access to a wide choice of goods.

Who does your membership consist of?

AHPA is comprised of more than 300 domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of herbs and botanical and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs. AHPA also has associate members (individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other organizations) that support the botanical industry through research, education, consulting, legal and regulatory guidance, public relations, marketing, and medical expertise.

What are the qualifications for membership?

AHPA members agree to comply with AHPA’s Code of Ethics & Business Conduct which was developed by members and outlines the ethical business practices of responsible herbal product companies and organizations.  AHPA also encourages members to adopt its Guidance Policies, which address a variety of labeling and manufacturing issues and that reflect the consensus of AHPA members and board of trustees.

What services or benefits do you provide your members?

AHPA is an experienced, knowledgeable, and responsive resource that serves the broad needs of the industry and provides personalized assistance to members. AHPA actively engages Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments and the scientific community to influence laws, regulations and guidance. AHPA keeps members informed about the latest news and issues that impact their businesses and produces educational events with leading experts on key issues that impact the industry. As the voice of the industry, AHPA works to publicize the benefits of herbal products and respond to inaccurate information.

How is your organization different than others representing the natural products industry?

AHPA is the primary trade association with a focus on herbal and botanical products. AHPA also has an active membership that participates on committees where they collaborate to address regulatory and technical issues that impact them.

What does your organization hope to accomplish in the upcoming months?

In October, AHPA will hold its 2014 Botanical Congress at SupplySide West to provide information about and demonstrations of the analytical tools and methods that experts use to effectively identify a wide variety of botanicals. AHPA is also working to produce a seminar that explores the issues that contract manufacturers and own-label distributors must negotiate to ensure compliance with current rules and regulations.  AHPA also recently launched a free, online Botanical Identity Reference Compendium and we continue to add material to this searchable database. AHPA will also be holding committee meetings and membership receptions at Expo West.

In your opinion, what's your role in the natural products industry?

AHPA focuses on herbal and botanical products and promotes the responsible commerce of these products, helping ensure consumers have informed access to high-quality products. AHPA helps enhance consumers’ health and quality of life through the responsible use of herbal products.

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