With the holiday season approaching, you’re probably bracing yourself for some over-indulgence. But before you start feasting on candy canes and swilling eggnog, take some time to think about your health. After all, November is National Health Food Month–let’s celebrate being healthy!
Here in Canada, we are fortunate to have unrestricted access to natural health foods and nutritional supplements. To celebrate our good fortune, starting in 2001 the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) designated November as National Health Food Month.
The CHFA was founded in 1964 and is the largest trade association representing the natural products industry in Canada. Over 85 percent of all retailers and manufacturers in the industry are members. Through promotion and education, this nonprofit organization ensures that the industry remains focused on providing excellent service to consumers. The CHFA also provides valuable member services that help natural health stores compete against big-box retailers.
By providing a regulatory environment for the industry, the CHFA ensures that Canadians can safely enjoy the benefits of natural health products. They have also advocated for reduced health care costs by asking that natural health products be a medically deductible expense. If the government heeds this call, it could save billions of dollars by promoting preventive self-care and easing the stress on an already overburdened health care system.
This year the CHFA elected a new CEO and president, Penelope Marrett, who has a wealth of experience in dealing with legislators in Ottawa. Under her leadership, the CHFA plans to further its public policy mandate and continue to call for reform in our health care system. With so many Canadians opting for healthy alternatives to conventional medicines and with the rise of the organic sector, the CHFA is poised to play a pivotal role in the future of the health food industry.
According to an Ipsos Reid study commissioned by the CHFA, over 75 percent of Canadians bought natural health products last year. The demand for these products has caused the natural health products sector to double in the last five years and to become a multibillion dollar industry. Canadians everywhere are taking control of their health, choosing to respect their bodies and the environment, and safeguard against preventive disease–now that’s something to celebrate!
November was designated as the month to celebrate our good (health) fortune and to distinguish CHFA-member stores as leaders in the natural health food industry. Ask your local health food store what they have planned, or go online to chfa.ca to see what the CHFA is doing to celebrate.