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Insight is everything

Esther Mills-Roberts
Communications Manager, Health Food Manufacturers’ Association

If the Natural and Organic Products Show demonstrated one thing to us, it’s that the HFMA is both trusted and valued for the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep others in the know.

HFMA members receive numerous updates to achieve that, including our “Westminster Insider”, giving insights from our political advisors, the “Media Insider” looking at coverage and messaging across many media channels, the “Research Insider”, detailing studies about the UK diet, wholefoods and, in particular, supplements. And most importantly, our member mailout which gives an overview of key industry news and issues.

And we know from this year’s show comeback that over the past two pandemic years our influence hasn’t diminished – rather, it’s got stronger. At the show, it was more apparent than ever that the HFMA is viewed as the place to go for key insights.

As a visitor from the US Embassy business development department put it, she always directs natural product brands to the HFMA to help them assess their route to the UK market. Why? Because HFMA information given is not only accurate, it’s well-considered, strategic and based on both hindsight and foresight.

This recognition was encouraging as a great deal of time is spent with our ears to the ground so that we can be strategically placed where and when it matters most, whether in industry partnership forums, expert groups, working groups, industry meetings or Government consultations.

More recently, in May, we’ve been able to do just that – providing industry perspective to the Government’s consultation on increasing vitamin D intakes within the UK population.

The HFMA responded with some strategic ‘wins’ that the Government should consider around messaging, intakes and supplementary approaches, and at many different levels: education, business, practitioner and consumer. The HFMA approach to vitamin D, and what we are pushing for, is a shift in focus away from ‘seasonal only’ supplement guidance to supplementation for everyone, all year round.

We collated key scientific evidence to support supplementation in many different population groups, not just those already recognised by Government, but also others for whom vitamin D supplementation is important, including vegans, those whose diets are restricted, those who are in stressful situations and teenagers.

As well as diet and supplements, the Government is looking at ways to increase fortification of foods with vitamin D. With such a broad remit, it’s easy to see why the HFMA is an active contributor within many different arenas, across different areas of industry, in order to give voice to, and strengthen our approach.

And so, we continue to bring vital insight within the UK Natural Health industry. This remains a key focus as the HFMA grows and develops organisationally. With input from our expert scientific and technical advisers, and support from Council who uphold the HFMA vision, we are well placed to be at the cutting edge of natural health. Which is of benefit to all.

Tel: 0208 481 7100

Email: [email protected]

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