To celebrate 75 years of dedication to the natural products industry, the Natural Products Association (NPA)—which now represents over 1,900 members—presented exemplary manufacturers a “one-time and one-of-a-kind” award, said NPA President Pat Sardell at this year’s NPA Marketplace in Las Vegas. Based on length of membership, participation in events, and service and contributions in the marketplace, these three companies didn’t just receive—they earned—the NPA Diamond Manufacturer Award through their influential roles in the natural products community.

Aubrey Organics

After 40 years, Aubrey Organics continues to lead the way for the natural beauty category, while striving to maintain its founder’s core values. “We lost Aubrey Hampton this year. Our mission is to carry on not just his vision but his tradition,” said Curt Valva, Aubrey Organics president and CEO. “Every day, he was dedicated to the small, independent retailer.” Aubrey Organics recently worked with the NPA on its Natural Seal to alleviate consumer and retailer confusion around labels and terms in the personal care aisle.

Carlson LabsKirsten Calrson and Carilyn Anderson

Best known for its Norwegian fish oils, this Illinois-based company has been manufacturing high-quality supplements since 1965 and now has a robust line of 250 formulas. “We are proud to be a part of this industry and are so excited about how fast it’s growing and expanding," said Carilyn Anderson, president of Carlson Laboratories, pictured at right with sister Kirsten Carlson on the left.

Tree of Life

Since 1972, Florida-based Tree of Life, a KeHE company, has been a top distributor of natural, organic, and specialty foods. “I personally have been coming to these shows since 1975,” said Greg Leonard, senior vice president of natural food sales. “The Natural Products Association has always been focused on issues of importance to independent retailers. Independent retailers are the heart and soul of this industry.”

As for the next wave of natural products industry influencers? The NPA’s Young Entrepreneur Award went to Henry Miller of Henry’s Stingers, honey with a kick. “I really don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for my venture capitalist, or as I call them, my parents,” 14-year-old Miller said. “Without them it would have only been an idea. And it’s really fun to get to tell my friends that my parents work for me.” 

Other award winners and runners-up at NPA Marketplace: 

Retailers' Choice award for best product display

Best Booth Design