Local thinkers, doers invited to NC Natural Products networking event

From the NC Natural Products Association:

Bring the Spring!

Calling the new age hillbilly farmers, industry wizards, and botanical enthusiasts: prepare to answer some questions and pose them to others!
The North Carolina Natural Products Association (NCNPA) would like to invite all those with an interest in Asheville’s herbal, agricultural, and botanical community to our “Bring The Spring” networking event. The event is free, appetizers will be provided and beverages can be purchased. Bring the Spring will be held at MG Road Bar and Lounge (downstairs from Chai Pani), 19 Wall Street on February 25, 2015 from 5-8PM.

NCNPA brings together botanical research, business leadership, agricultural and viticultural innovation, and informed herbal industry insight at the local level and is currently seeking your input on how to best benefit alternative agriculture in Western North Carolina.

In 2012 NCNPA and partners hosted the International Ginseng Expo at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension agency in Mills River. This event brought together growers, buyers, and conservationists with regional, national, and international stakes in the ginseng trade. The event provided a unique platform for many to contribute to a best practices discussion for the protection of ginseng both as a wild resource and as an important cash crop for our region.

This February 25 NCNPA invites interested community members to an informal get together to swap ideas, share about their services and discuss the upcoming season. The evening will feature a silent auction with many sponsorship opportunities available. Funds from the auction will be used to continue to promote education for the community on the natural products industry. Startups are especially encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to pitch their idea and secure strategic partnerships, while growers are encouraged to attend to meet potential buyers and learn about the industry.

Dandelion Sponsor – These little yellow-headed beauties bring a wealth in numbers as they take us into spring with their sunny dispositions and their healing ways. Be a dandelion and assist us with setting up the silent auction, or providing cleanup assistance to the MG Road staff. You will have our thanks and recognition—a great way to get involved with our community and other sponsors!

Black Cohosh Sponsor – Donate an item or service to our silent auction valued at $25 or more (starting bid, $5). Above and you can display your business cards and literature next to your item during the silent auction and receive recognition for your business or practice in our program for the event.

Trillium Sponsor – Donate an item or service to our silent auction valued at $50 (starting bid $25). Above and you will be singled out with hearty applause.

Shiitake Sponsor – Donate an item or service valued at $100 or more (starting bid, $50) Above and your organization or company will be featured in an upcoming NCNPA newsletter with a live link to your website.

Goldenseal – Donate an item or service valued at $250 or more (starting bid, $100). Above and your organization or company will have an opportunity to distribute literature and/or samples at the event and will be invited to speak in front of the event audience, basking in the glow and admiration of your peers.

Ginseng Sponsor – Donate an item or service valued at $500 or more (starting bid, $150). Above and receive heartfelt awe and amazement, a special thank-you basket from Blue Ridge Naturally producers. You will be invited to speak about your business or upcoming plans during the event, or take the roast-and-toast option and find out that your colleagues have planned for you! Your organization or company logo will be featured on the event program and in email newsletter documenting the event.

TO SIGN UP AS A SPONSOR OR REGISTER FOR THE EVENT PLEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Flynn seal@blueridgenaturally.org – Proceeds from the silent auction will be used for upcoming community and industry education.

The North Carolina Natural Products Association (NCNPA) was formed over 12 years ago as a 501c (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, cultivating, sustainably harvesting, and processing North Carolina grown medicinal plants. NCNPA’s mission is to establish North Carolina as a key global supplier of premium-quality raw materials and plant-based value added products such as natural medicines, organic products, functional foods, and personal care. The NCNPA administers the Blue Ridge Naturally™ Seal program that provides a product quality as place guarantee for buyers of products grown and/or manufactured in the mountains of western North Carolina. The NCNPA, with funding from Golden Leaf, has partnered with NCSU, SBTDC, Advantage West, Bent Creek Institute and the NC Bionetwork to develop a certification for WNC manufactured natural products. Smart consumers know that products with the Blue Ridge Naturally™ seal are safe, traceable and sourced from Western North Carolina, a region of distinction in the natural products industry. The seal emphasizes your product’s local origin and superior quality and your company’s affiliation with Western North Carolina’s emerging natural products industry. The Blue Ridge Naturally™ web traceability module assures customers of your authentic ingredient sourcing and care in the development of your product or crop.

For additional information about the NCNPA please contact Jeannie Dunn, President, North Carolina Natural Products Association, 828-301-3010, NCNPAboard@gmail.com

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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