Considering lack of retailer involvement a major contributing factor in the National Products Association’s recent decision to end operations in its west and Rocky Mountain regions, former NPA Western Region President, David Stouder, said he hopes the action will serve as a wake up call to retailers.

“I think if everyone went to Washington [D.C.] and saw some of the things that are going on, more people would be moved to take action to protect our industry,” Stouder said. “We’ve got too many people sitting on the sidelines because they think someone else is going to do it. Well now, some of those ‘somebody else’s’ are gone.”

Earlier this week, theNPA board of directors voted to revoke the charters of the NPA West and NPA Rocky Mountain regions after they were unable to meet organizational requirements established in November 2008. Board members in both regions said the closures did not come as a surprise.

John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO, said the organization is moving quickly to create a national advocacy position to cover states without regional representation, but active members in these areas are still concerned for the future.

“With the demise of the western region and Rocky Mountain region I don’t know that anyone really knows what’s going to happen,” said Howard Pollack, owner of Rainbow Acres in Los Angeles and western region member. Without an executive director, from a legislative standpoint it’s going to be much harder to watch things. We have less of a voice. When a crisis comes up the troops rally, but unfortunately it takes a crisis. That needs to change.”

To read more on this story see our sister publication, Functional Ingredients Magazaine.