­­­­CERTUS Social Media, a social media advertising firm, has opened up shop in Los Angeles, CA. The company says it specializes in “Facebook advertising and online customer acquisition for natural products brands.” Mark Harris, CERTUS partner and co-founder, says the services can help companies that don’t have the time, staff or expertise in online media. He says, “Our team creates extremely specific consumer profiles and has specialized tools to utilize and maximize Facebook’s proprietary algorithms using quantifiable subsets that go way beyond gender, age and income. We are then able to acquire and deliver targeted consumers as a perfect match for any product or brand. For our clients, there is no risk. They tell us how many soldiers they want in their army and we guarantee that number up front.”

Simi Valley, CA-based derma e is continuing its partnership with Whole Planet Foundation (begun in July 2013), which provides financial assistance to entrepreneurs in poor communities of 58 countries. So far, derma e has donated several facial and body care products to the Whole Planet Foundation Bazaar, where Whole Foods Market employees can shop, donate and support the cause. The funds raised maintain the program.

Fairhaven Health of Bellingham, WA, acquired the Milkies Milk-Saver and Freeze brands. Milk Saver helps collect leaked breastmilk during nursing and Freeze helps mothers organize and store milk storage bags.

Bioforce USA of Ghent, NY, completed the first phase of its new A.Vogel brand Web site, www.avogelusa.com. In late winter, an online shopping cart will be added.

The Natural Health Research Institute is sponsoring a session on “Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Brain Health & Function” that will be given at the 105th American Oil Chemists Society Annual Meeting in May in San Antonio, TX. A main focus will be the benefits of omegas for maternal–child mental health and for those with dementia. For registration information, contact doreenb@aocs.org.

Natural Factors, with U.S. headquarters in Monroe, WA, is now a member of the United Natural Products Alliance.

For the sixth year in a row, NOW Foods of Bloomingdale, IL, was named one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources.

Washington, D.C.-based Natural Products Association announced it is launching the 2014 Wednesday Webinar Series, beginning January 22 with “Social Media for Dietary Supplements: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Upcoming topics include “Mastering the Mainstream Media” on February 19 and “Lobbying: What’s it All About?” on March 19. Information is available at www.npainfo.org/NPA/EducationCertification/NPA_Wednesday_Webinar_Series.aspx.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2014