The group said that bigger companies have agreed to take on higher dues in order to make space for smaller firms to make smaller, more manageable, contributions.
This means that a wider range of actors in the industry will be able to access the benefits of membership, including the group’s science-based agenda, its regulatory and government relations expertise and its public relations programs.
The move will also open up the path for more interaction of small firms with the industry they represent, and the support system and encouragement necessary to ensure products are accurately marketed.
This is of particular importance because of the damage that misleadingly marketed products cause the industry as a whole. Although some of these are clearly bogus, and aim to profit from the deception of consumers, many products are manufactured by smaller players that do not have the adequate systems in place to ensure they are up to date with all developments and regulatory requirements.
Membership to trade groups such as CRN is one way to help provide this support structure for smaller firms.
CRN said its new dues structure, effective January 2009, will maintain the low dues for the smallest companies (those with less than $5m in annual sales), and lower annual dues for small and mid-size companies (those with up to $150m in annual sales), while the largest companies have agreed to take an increase in dues.
“This shows true leadership among our largest member companies who are willing to pay
more in order to help bring more companies on board,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN.
“CRN membership already includes companies that represent the majority of supplement sales in the US, and the ability to increase our membership numbers will further help us to fulfill our mission.”
There are four different membership types in the organization. Most members are manufacturers or marketers of dietary supplements in the US, and are Voting Members.
Dues for Voting Members are based on a percentage of annual US sales of dietary supplement products and/or ingredients, with a current cap of $150,000 in annual dues, to be raised to $165,000 in 2009.
If companies do not market supplements or supplement ingredients in the US, they can be Associate Members, International Members or Functional Foods Members.
Associate Members are those companies that supply services to supplement manufacturers. Dues for Associate Members are $3,000 per year and dues will not change in 2009.
International Members are those companies that would normally be eligible for Voting or Associate membership in CRN, but do business exclusively outside the US. International membership will be raised from $2,500 to $5,000 per year, effective 2009.
Functional Foods Members are those companies that manufacture foods for special dietary use, functional foods, or related nutritional foods.
The current multiplier for computing CRN’s dues, which is 0.126 percent of sales, will be replaced with a sliding scale of 0.095 percent to 0.120 percent, depending on the size of the company, said CRN.
For example, a company with $100m in US sales will see its dues drop from $126,000 to $105,000 under the new dues schedule. CRN also provides the added incentive of 50 percent off of the first year’s dues for Voting Members.