Almost a year has gone by since the idea of HerbDay was mooted at Natural Products Expo West. But now a date has been set - October 14 2006 - the coalition behind the event is inviting participation from herbal industry members and supporters.
The coalition is made up of five organisations whose activities are centered around herbs: American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); American Botanical Counil (ABC); American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP); American Herbalist Guild; and United Plant Savers.
The herbal products industry has taken a rap from negative media coverage in the past, and the organizers identified the need to offset this with an event dedicated to their benefits.
The coalition has designed what AHPA president Michael McGuffin called a "very innovative and dynamic opportunity to bring a positive message about herbs to the public in their own communities".
A series of events will take place throughout the week leading up to Saturday October 14 at venues throughout the United States. The hosting venue may select its own events, which could range from lectures by well-known herbalists or product presentations at retail stores, to cookery demonstrations using herbs and spices, or herb walks through botanical gardens and parks.
National events may also be held at the Botanic Garden in Washington, with the aim of attracting attention from the national and consumer media.
Members of the herbal community are invited to plan events, provide sponsorship or contribute financial support.
It is hoped that Herb Day will become a bi-annual fixture in the industry's calendar.
Moreover the coalition intends for it to spread beyond the the boundaries of the United States. It expects HerbDay to be celebrated in Canada, and possible in other countries around the world.