President's Blog

CHFA is proud to be the voice of the natural health industry. As CHFA President, I am proud to be our organization’s voice. From the latest updates on issues affecting our industry, to my personal insights on professional life, my blog, "The Long Story", is a collection of thoughts and ideas that will give you a unique perspective into our industry.




A Slice of Life at Expo West

On March 22, 2018

Earlier this month, Helen visited the 38th annual Natural Products Expo West, a four-day event that showcases natural, organic and healthy products in Anaheim, California. Here’s a snapshot of what it’s like to be CHFA’s President.

Wednesday, March 7, 1:28 p.m.

Getting off the plane in sunny California. I know, I know, I’m here to work, but it sure is nice to see the sun (and no snow) for a few days!

Wednesday, March 7, 5:42 p.m.

Attending the Pitch-Slam Semi-Finals: Eight companies pitch their products to the judging panel in a room set up à la Dragons’ Den. Excited to see a local Canadian company Bio Raw on the list — I’m voting online for my favourite right now! Finals tomorrow night.

Thursday, March 8, 9:29 a.m.

Trying to get a handle on who’s shopping and how they spend at The State of the Natural Industry session, with insights from Natural Marketing Institute, New Hope and Natural Products Consulting. My new favourite expression? I’m a double millennial, NOT a baby boomer!

Thursday, March 8, 12:18 p.m.

There’s a new north building at the Anaheim Convention Centre and it’s chock-full of “Hot Products.”  The aisles are jammed — so much to see (and taste)! Vegan everything, specialized waters, chips made out of everything (including chicken), jerky and confectionary trends on display. And coconut, the trend that never ends!

Thursday, March 8, 3:58 p.m.

Delivering my presentation Canada’s Natural Foods and Health Products Market, as part of the Global Export Series with Maria Arbulu of USDA. Interesting to hear what American companies want to know about the regulations in Canada.

Friday, March 9, 9:53 a.m.

Morning meet-and-greet with the Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada. Great resources for CHFA Members who want to do business in other countries.

Friday, March 9, 10:32 a.m.

“Small Giants:  Understanding What it Takes to Grow A Great Company” Fascinating talk about companies that choose to be great instead of big, although sometimes they end up being both — think Clif Bar. Fun fact: did you know that an “entrepreneur” used to be what you called people who couldn’t get jobs?

Friday, March 9, 2:18 p.m.

International Women’s Day. Taking a moment to reflect on all the women who have and continue to empower and support me, those I try to empower and grow with, and the beautiful young woman I’ve raised who makes me proud every day.

Friday, March 9, 3:49 p.m.

Running into CHFA Members everywhere! So exciting to see the brands that are at the show and to touch base with friends who work in the U.S. 

Saturday, March 10, 2:28 p.m.

Trying to get through those last few exhibits before heading out. It’s been a whirlwind of education, connection and community. Gathered lots of great ideas for CHFA! We are truly blessed to be part of such a dynamic, innovative industry.