The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) held its annual member meeting during Expo West with some noteworthy fanfare.

First, former president of Mexico Vicente Fox delivered the keynote at AHPA’s meeting and breakfast. Fox’s main message was that companies should have socially responsible business practices that serve their communities and that making profits should not be businesses’ only goal. He suggested that firms even establish a position within the company dedicated to ensuring its social responsibility, or simply spend five minutes each day coming up with ways the company can serve their communities.

He also addressed some political issues like border reform and drug prohibition.

Also at the meeting, AHPA gave out its annual awards, which went to Daniel Gagnon of Herbs, Etc. (AHPA Herbal Hero Award for contributions as an AHPA board and committee member), Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps (AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award for advancing herbal products beyond commercial business practices), researcher Lyle Craker, Ph.D. (AHPA Herbal Insight Award) and several members from Virgo Publishing (AHPA Visionary Award for supporting industry through education).

Stated AHPA President Michael McGuffin, “These individuals and companies have demonstrated their dedication to excellence and their collective actions exemplify the herbal products industry’s commitment to meeting the growing demand for high-quality products and accurate information.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2014