Industry associations plan Herb Day USA

Related tags Herbal products Herbalism Herb

If mothers, lovers and the president have their own special days,
why shouldn't herbs? That is the thinking of several organizations
dedicated to promoting the use of herbs, who are hoping to hold the
first ever Herb Day USA in spring 2006.

Planning for the event is in the early stages and was discussed at a meeting held by the American Herbal Products Association (APHA) at Expo West last week.

The aim is to raise consumer awareness of the role of herbs through educational events hosted by retailers, supported by marketers of herbal products, and sponsored by the non-profit organizations.

APHA president Michael McGuffin said it will offset the impact of negative media attention on herbs and allow the industry to "take control of the message, at least for one day, all over the country."

Through partnerships with retailers the initiative is also envisaged as a fundraiser, with a small percentage of revenue on the day going to organizations dedicated to preserving herbal medicine, which Roy Upton, president of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) said are "underfunded but critical to the herb industry".

The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) has offered $40,000 in funds towards getting the event off the ground, but this sum needs to be matched by other sources, such as herbal products marketers.

Besides AHPA and AHP, other organizations involved in the intiative are the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), American Botanical Council (ABC) and United Plant Savers (UpS).

It is hoped that Herb Day USA will become a bi-annual fixture in the industry's calendar.

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