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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second editor’s note: Wyszumiala is president of NAXA.
What is the purpose of your association?
The association was formed to help the growers and suppliers of natural algae based astaxanthin to better define the astaxanthin market and combat market threats like synthetic astaxanthin and other knock-off ingredients claiming to be natural astaxanthin.
The association’s other goals are to invest in additional research on natural astaxanthin and enhance understanding and awareness of astaxanthin within the industry and for consumers.
Who does your membership consist of? What are the qualifications for membership?
The qualifications for membership are straightforward: a company must be a producer of natural astaxanthin derived from haematococcus pluvialis. We look for the membership to grow, to not just be the largest suppliers, but also for smaller suppliers and companies marketing products containing natural astaxanthin.
The current members are some of the largest suppliers in the market.
What services or benefits do you provide your members?
One of the key benefits we are providing to our members is our verification program, which the association will be launching later this year. This program will be verifying, through testing of the raw materials from the member companies, that these ingredients are truly natural astaxanthin.
In addition, the verification program will be open to all companies marketing products containing natural astaxanthin. These requirements will also require testing, and traceability that they are using a raw material verified through the program.
How is your organization different than others representing the natural products industry?
The association differs as it is a coalition of companies surrounding the needs of a single ingredient. We have seen this with GOED and IPA, and I am surprised we have not seen more ingredient companies bind together to fight off market threats, contamination, and build better awareness around their business.
This association in no manner is designed to detract or discourage membership with any other association. Our members see a separate need for NAXA as our market is facing unique challenges.
What does your organization hope to accomplish in the upcoming months?
In the coming months, NAXA has many goals that we hope to accomplish. These include beginning our outreach programs to industry—including our association’s marketing campaign--and launching our website, www.astaxanthin.org.
Additionally, there are threats in the market we will be working to address, such as building the awareness of the differences between natural and synthetic astaxanthin and other key regulatory questions that need to be clarified globally.
In your opinion, what's your role in the natural products industry?
Our role as an association is to protect and build the natural astaxanthin market through advocacy and education.