WholeFoods Magazine wanted to know: How did Expo East 2013 stack up this year? Here is what some exhibitors and attendees had to say about their experiences at the 2013 show.

colorado flood

Boulder, CO—The September flooding that affected heavily populated northern areas of Colorado, causing at least eight deaths, displacing thousands and damaging untold amounts of property, was a cause rallied around by the natural products community. The state as a whole, particularly the area including Boulder and Denver, is a financial and cultural center for the natural and organic industry.

apples oranges

Orange and apple growers are battling two major scourges that threaten their crops: citrus greening, a bacterial disease spread by tiny insects called psyllids, and fire blight, a contagious disease that attacks apple and pear trees.

Speaking at Natural Products Expo East, Arran Stephens, co-founder of Richmond, BC, Canada-based Nature’s Path Foods, expressed gratitude for the recognition he and his wife and fellow co-founder Ratana were about to receive from the Organic Trade Association.

retailer competition

Sharing a combined 100 years of professional experience, a Expo East panel of retailers shared ideas on how independent natural products retailers can continue to compete successfully not only with other independents, but also with Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, conventional supermarkets, Wal-Mart and other big-box stores, and even Internet suppliers like Amazon.com.

expo east

Natural Products Expo East, held September 25–28 at the Baltimore Convention Center, put nearly 22,000 attendees in good spirits as they had the chance to visit 1,200 exhibit booths (including 480 new ones) and three days of events.

vitamin angels

Santa Barbara, CA—Vitamin Angels, an organization whose mission is to provide vitamins and essential nutrients to those in need, has launched a campaign to raise awareness about hidden hunger.

aker neptune krill

Oslo, Norway—A discrepancy over patents is continuing in the krill market segment. On October 2, Aker BioMarine asked the U.S. Trademarks and Patents Office (USTPO) to consider some additional evidence regarding the legitimacy of patent (U.S. Pat. No 8,278,351, i.e., the “’351 Patent”) assigned to Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. of Laval, Quebec, Canada.

organic

Baltimore, MD—Products certified organic in the United States will now be accepted as such in Japan, and vice versa, per an agreement between the countries. The new organic equivalency agreement was announced at a ceremony at the All Things Organic conference, during Natural Products Expo East.