Now that the group has severed ties with the agency – EAS – that performed many of its functions and moved into its own premises in Brussels, Ahern said the group would seek to better utilise its pan-European membership base.
“I am very excited about my role in implementing the vision for EHPM’s new operating structure that has been put in place by the EHPM board and endorsed by our members,” Ahern said.
“In establishing our own office in Brussels and organising the association’s work through working groups, we aim to fully leverage the expertise in each of our national associations.”
New initiatives the creation of four working groups: Quality, Technical, Communications and Botanicals. They will meet regularly in Brussels.
EHPM also intends to beef up its presence in policy making across the EU, representing the small and medium sized business that are the core of its membership.
“From the initial meetings of our working groups, it is clear that there is much work to be done across a range of areas. Fortunately, our members are very enthusiastic about our new structure, and we will shortly have an ambitious work programme in place for all our working groups.”
Elements of Europe’s supplement industry created a new group – Food Supplements Europe – this year, with a membership of select trade groups and mainly larger supplements makers and suppliers.
Ahern said the ongoing on-hold staus of botanical food supplements in the EU was another issue the group would address more actively under his stewardship.
“The Commission has put some options on the table for how to deal with the botanicals issue. For consistency with other areas of EU legislation and in order to create a workable environment for our industry, option 2b is the preferred solution – permitting the use of tradition-of-use data to back claims.”
“EHPM recently adopted a position paper on this issue, and we are in the process of organising a workshop in the European Parliament on 27 June to facilitate the debate on this topic.”