Following the return of Natural Products Expo West in March of 2022, New Hope Network issued a statement letting industry members know that several women reported experiencing sexual harassment at the in-person event. New Hope Network stressed that harassment or assault of any nature has never been, and never will be, tolerated at the events.
"We have always expected people to treat each other with kindness, dignity, and respect and that is reflected in our event code of conduct, which gives us the option to remove or ban any event participant for behavior that is disruptive or harmful to the community," New Hope shared. Going forward, the company said future event communications and policies will specifically state that sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and will result in removal and a future ban from New Hope Network events. The Informa health & safety team is also looking into additional steps that can be taken to help prevent harassment.
The statement, shared on social media including on theNatural Products ExpoLinkedIn page, concluded: "We are inspired by the strength and courage of the women who shared their experiences and are grateful for the influence their bravery will have on our work as a community to create the change required to end harassment. Cultural change does not occur overnight, but it will happen when we all play a role, take action and care for one another. "