CHFA NOW · Toronto 2023



Conference: September 21–22, 2023
Trade Show: September 23–24,2023

CHFA NOW · Toronto 2023



Conference: September 21–22, 2023
Trade Show: September 23–24,2023

CHFA NOW Digital

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Amanda Kenny
Hive Naturals
Brittany Kroetsch
Hive Naturals
Miriam Holmes
Hive Naturals
Lynsey Walker

Join merchandising experts at Hive Naturals to master the art of promotional periods and discover how highlighting your brand at the right time is the way to win in retail. We’ll also touch on how cross promotion can get your product into more baskets and not only increase your sales but also support and loyalty from your retail partners.


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Please note that topics and speakers are not final and are subject to change.

Members and Associates - $149

Our Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations team has been incredibly busy this year advocating on behalf of the natural, organic and wellness industry. We are eager to welcome our CHFA Members to our regulatory forum this year where we’ll hear from the government as well as host important panel discussions on advocacy and building government relationships.

Morning session sponsored by:  

9:00–9:30 AM

State of the Union Address

Speaker: Aaron Skelton, President & CEO at CHFA

9:30–10:15 AM

Plastics and Recycling Regulations

Speaker: Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) - Laura Dorman, P.Eng

This session will provide an overview of key initiatives under Canada’s Zero Plastic Waste Initiative with a focus on the proposed regulations for recycled content and labelling for plastics which are expected to be published later this year. The session will discuss key aspects of the proposed regulations which would include recycled content requirements for plastic packaging, requirements for recyclability labelling of plastic packaging and single use plastics, and composability labelling. Additionally, this session will include content on primary food plastic packaging as part of pollution prevention planning.

Laura is head of the Regulatory Policy Unit in Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Plastics Regulatory Affairs Division. Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in environmental engineering from the University of Ottawa and is a registered Professional Engineer. She has worked at ECCC for 19 years on various initiatives related to pollution prevention including the development and implementation of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan, administration of ECCC’s vehicle and engine emission regulations, and Canada’s Zero Plastic Waste Initiative. She is currently leading the development of the proposed recycled content and labelling regulations for plastics.

10:15–10:45 AM

Food Regulatory Modernization and Plant-based Foods

Speaker: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) – Michele Stockton

This session will provide an overview of the path to modernization of food compositional standards. The modernization is comprised of two key initiatives: a change to the Food and Drug Regulations that will move compositional standards to an incorporated by reference (IBR) document, and a companion consultation to develop a CFIA strategy to modernize the food compositional standards once the IBR document is created.

This session also will provide information on initiatives to update guidance clarifying the regulatory requirements of simulated meat and simulated poultry products as well as an upcoming consultation on the labelling of plant-based alternatives to dairy and egg products.

Michelle is a Policy and Programs Manager at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) responsible for food composition, standards, and grades. She began her career as an inspector in CFIA’s Toronto Region over 20 years ago and has since held various positions at the regional, area, and national levels working in food safety, consumer protection, compliance verification and the standard inspection process. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Nutrition, Certificates in Food Science, Business, and Plant-Based Nutrition, and recently obtained change management practitioner credentials.

10:45–11:00 AM


11:00–11:30 AM

Food and Drug Regulations – Updates to Division 24

Speaker: Health Canada’s Food Directorate - Dino Covone

Canada's current regulations for Foods for Special Dietary Purposes (FSDP) are set in Division 24 and 25 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). These regulations are out of date and would benefit from better harmonization with other jurisdictions. For example, Canada's current regulations are prescriptive and restrict the sale of FSDP to a limited number of product categories. In order to improve the regulatory framework for FSDP, Health Canada is taking a comprehensive approach that will modernize Divisions 24 and 25 of the FDR. This will include a review of regulatory requirements that may pose unnecessary barriers to market access. This session will focus on division 24 and provide an overview of some of the regulatory barriers that exist and potential solutions that will help mitigate shortages of FSPDs.

Dino has over 20 years of experience within the federal government and joined Health Canada in 2006, after spending 4 years at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Dino is the Chief of Nutrition Regulations and Standards Division in the Food Directorate and oversees policy and regulatory development. For over a decade, he has worked on a wide range of legislative and regulatory files such as Nutritional Labelling, Front-of-Pack labelling and amendments to the Food and Drug Act.

Dino holds a Bachelor of Science with specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology from Concordia University and a Project Management certification from the PMI institute.

11:30 AM–12:30 PM

Discussion with NNHPD

Speaker and session details coming soon.

12:30–1:30 PM

Lunch Break (Lunch will be provided)

Afternoon Sessions: Reserved for CHFA Members and Guests Only (Non-Government)
Sponsored by:  

1:30–2:15 PM

Navigating Government: Cultivating and Sustaining Optimal Relationships and Long-Term Influence

Speakers (left to right) : Ashley Cornell (Moderator) Huw Williams (Panelist), Perry Tsergas (Panelist), Sonia Parmar (Panelist)

The pivotal role of Government Relations cannot be overstated. Thought leaders and experts delve into the art of government relations – fostering collaborative public sector relationships for ensuring influence. We'll explore strategies, insights, and experiences that elevate your approach to public policy and regulatory engagements. Our experts will share real-world instances where such collaborations have not only contributed to smoother regulatory inspections but also yielded long-term strategic advantages. Our speakers will share the vital components of building and nurturing these relationships to harness mutual benefits. It's an opportunity to gain fresh perspectives on revitalizing your rapport with policy makers and regulators leveraging external viewpoints from public relations and human behavior experts.

Ashley is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy at the Canadian Health Food Association, bringing over a decade of regulatory expertise in the food and cannabis sectors. She has spearheaded large-scale companywide regulatory compliance remediation efforts, fostering constructive dialogue, and strengthening relationships with regulatory authorities. Her ability to bridge the gap between regulatory considerations and overarching business objectives has been instrumental in positioning organizations for success in a highly regulated environment

Huw is the President of Impact Public Affairs and specializes in government and media relations. With extensive experience in the print and broadcast media, he has appeared frequently as a corporate spokesperson on CBC and CTV national news. Mr. Williams’ government experience is diverse, having served as Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada; as a Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs; and as a Legislative Assistant to the Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly.

Perry is a storyteller. He’s always loved a good story. The way they make you feel, hold your attention, linger in your mind long afterwards.

Perry worked in Canadian politics for seven years; for Ministers, Members of Parliament, on numerous election campaigns, and on a wide range of policy issues and initiatives. It provided him a wealth of experience and insight into communications and public policy, the people who shape it, and how people are shaped by it. He has continued to stay involved in political campaign work.

In 2011, Perry co-founded Canada’s first public affairs advertising agency, and in 2016, he co-founded and became President and CEO at spark*. He has been helping a diversity of clients to tell their stories, in new and innovative ways. Sometimes to a niche audience, sometimes to millions of people. He helps clients figure out what success looks like, who can help them achieve it, and how to inform, educate, persuade, impress, and astonish in order to make it happen.

Sonia is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations for the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). In her role, she works to represent the largest trade association dedicated to natural, organic and wellness products in Canada. The CHFA is a national not-for-profit association, members include manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers committed to getting healthy living products into the hands of more Canadians.

Prior to the CHFA, Sonia held the position of Director of Policy and Strategic Planning in the Regulatory Affairs Sector (RAS) of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, where she was responsible for leadership in providing central oversight and modernization of Canada’s regulatory system by reporting to Parliament and to Canadians, on the government’s ability to deliver regulatory reforms and policy frameworks.

2:15–2:45 PM

The Regulation of Natural Health Products: A Global Perspective

Speaker: Michael Smith

Consumers continue to include Natural Health Products (NHPs) within their health care options. The quantity of information now available as well as an increased multicultural and cosmopolitan approach to health and healing has meant that NHP market is now truly global with an increased role of online sales and products often manufactured in a country away from where are purchased.

While the market may be international this is not the case for regulations. In addition to challenges posed by this global marketplace, regulators must manage national and regional expectations in fulfilling their primary mandate of protecting the consumer from harm. This has resulted in a very complex regulatory milieu globally of differing definitions, frameworks and approaches. This can provide both opportunities as well as challenges for all parts of the NHP Industry.

Using specific examples of product labelling in support for informed choice and approaches to cost recovery this presentation will describe at a high level the most common approaches taken by various jurisdictions in the regulation of Natural Health Products. Recognizing the desire for a consistent global approach or “harmonization” of regulations, key barriers and opportunities will be explored with examples of best-case approaches identified.

Michael is a trained pharmacist and naturopathic doctor. For over 25 years, Michael has worked in the natural health product and complementary medicines sector as an educator, researcher, clinician, regulator, and consultant. Michael has worked in international roles, including leading Australia's Office of Complementary Medicine. His global contributions to natural medicine include shaping the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy. Since 2012, he's been a consultant, holds academic positions, serves on advisory boards, and is a prolific author. In 2017, he received the G.H. Neil Towers Award for his outstanding contributions to natural products research and regulation.

2:45–3:30 PM

Legal Fireside Chat

Speakers (left to right): Lewis Retik, Laura Gomez, Jon-Paul Powers

Join Gowling WLG for a captivating legal and regulatory Q&A session covering key aspects of Food, Natural Health Products, and Sustainability. Delve into pertinent industry topics and pose your questions directly to the experts in this interactive session

Lewis is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office. He leads the Food and Beverage Group and co-leads the Cannabis Group.

His practice is focused primarily on regulatory and commercial law with respect to commercializing regulated products, including: regulatory licencing, product distribution, product classification, manufacturing, advertising, packaging, and labelling.

Laura is an Ottawa-based Gowling WLG partner who advises on regulatory law, practising primarily in the area of product regulation, compliance and enforcement, and corporate commercial law. Laura specializes in regulatory and commercial matters across diverse industries, including food, drugs, cosmetics, and more. She handles product licensing, marketing authorizations, advertising, recalls, and quality agreements. Laura also manages regulatory penalties and works with Health Canada, CFIA, ISED, Environment Canada, AAFC, and provincial regulators, while also advising on multi-level marketing and consumer protection.

Jon-Paul is a partner and scientific advisor in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office. Working chiefly with the firm's Food & Beverage Group, he advises clients on a range of complex scientific, regulatory and compliance matters pertaining to foods, supplemented foods, natural health products, cosmetics and pet supplements. In addition to product and site requirements, Dr. Powers assists clients in need of scientific support pertaining to health claim substantiation and marketing, health risk assessments, product testing and quality management systems.

3:30–4:00 PM

Member Only Discussion/ Closing Remarks

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sonia Parmar
VP, Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs at CHFA
Jules Gorham
Director, Regulatory Affairs and Policy at CHFA

Join our live SOS Campaign Update session to gain insights into our ongoing campaign, learn how you can get involved, and discover how we can collectively work towards safeguarding the availability of natural health products.

This is your chance to connect with us live and ask us any questions regarding the campaign or the changing regulations. Together, let's make a difference and #SaveOurSupplements.

Sponsored by:   

Ryan Molloy
CEO at Redfern Digital
Jerry Chen
CEO at JustOrder Technology Inc
Fan Wang
Founder and CEO at Shenzhen ZSZP Technology Co. Ltd.
Liu Yang
Chairman at Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions
Jun Ying
Vice General Manager at Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions
Liam Mather
Manager of Marketing and Communications at WPIC

In collaboration with CHFA and MEDJCT, the Trade Commissioner Service from Beijing and Shanghai are hosting a China market briefing with several Chinese distributors, e-commerce platforms and service providers looking to bring Canadian natural health products to the Chinese market. Whether you are already operating in the Chinese market and looking for new opportunities, or just starting to consider China in your future expansion plans, this will be a great chance to meet some key contacts and learn more about how to approach this market.

Ryan Molloy is the CEO at RedFern Digital, an award-winning independent brand management agency that develops, manages, and distributes brands across Asia. He is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, and performance of some of the largest and most successful brands in Asia, across a dynamic range of categories, covering branding, strategy, social media marketing & E-commerce. As a seasoned marketeer, his experience ranges from brands across FMCG, Alcohol, Mother & Baby, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, etc. He has a passion for growing brands and supporting them with achieving their commercial goals.

Jerry Chen holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science (2005) and a Master of Finance in (2010), both from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. In 2010, he co-founded SunFarm Products, a Canadian natural and gourmet food supplier that delivers a world-class portfolio of food and wine brands to consumers globally. In 2019, Jerry founded JustOrder Technology Inc., a Vancouver-based E-commerce and supply chain solution provider, specializing in supporting International Brands to enter the Chinese market. They provide comprehensive services that cover both online platforms and bricks-and-mortar distribution channels. Jerry loves trail hiking and kayaking.

Fan Wang is a member of the American Institute of CPAs. She worked at PwC for more than 10 years in corporate financial and strategic consulting. She also has more than 8 years of experience in consumer goods brand incubation and omni-channel marketing. In 2016, Fan founded Shenzhen ZSZP Technology Co. Ltd., which empowers Canadian brands to connect with the Chinese market by providing a complete solution for overseas partners to develop in China on an all-dimension, omni-channel and full-lifecycle basis. With this company, she aims to help Canadian brands improve their brand value, build mutually beneficial partnerships and share the long-term value from the growth of the Chinese market.

Liu YANG is the Chairman of Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions and President of the Chinese Cuisine Association. Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions is an event organizer dedicated to promoting the pharmaceutical and medical sectors in China. The company is a joint venture between China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm) – the largest medical and healthcare group in China, and Reed Exhibitions – the world's leading event organizer. The Chinese Cuisine Association (CCA) is a national guild of catering industry established in 1987. CCA has made great contributions to the development of Chinese cuisine by conveying the wishes of its members, communicating & executing national policies concerned, developing culinary culture of China, enhancing culinary skills, exchanging culinary information, guiding the development of the catering industry, cultivating catering talents in skills and management, protecting the legal interests of enterprises, holding together catering workers and prompting the progress of the catering industry.

Jun YING is fully in charge of the company's projects in health and pharmaceutical sector (PC, API), beauty projects (PCHI), and happiness field projects (NHNE). Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions is an event organizer dedicated to promoting the pharmaceutical and medical sectors in China. The company is a joint venture between China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm) – the largest medical and healthcare group in China, and Reed Exhibitions – the world's leading event organizer. RSE runs a portfolio of 30 highly recognized events, which serve the entire value chain of healthcare with an extended market reach into education and scientific research sectors. Sinopharm has several B2C e-commerce platforms and the largest chain pharmacies in China, which sell medicines, natural health and nutrition products, and medical equipment.

Liam Mather is Manager of Marketing and Communications at WPIC, where he is responsible for developing and executing the firm’s corporate marketing strategy. He also oversees WPIC’s media engagement, partnerships, and public affairs.

Liam has been based in Beijing for over six years and speaks Mandarin Chinese. Prior to joining WPIC, Liam worked in BCW's Corporate and Public Affairs practice, where he advised multinational corporate clients on strategic communications, Chinese policy issues, and crisis management.

Jenn Harper
Indigenous Entrepreneur, Founder of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics

Jenn Harper talks about her life, indigenous background and upbringing, challenges overcome and realizing her entrepreneurial dream with one of her fundamental business goals being sustainability and giving back to indigenous youth and communities, culminating in the success of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc.

An award-winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC. Cheekbone Beauty aims to help every Indigenous person see and feel their value in the world while developing sustainable colour cosmetics that won’t end up in a landfill.

Giving back to the Indigenous community is critical to Cheekbone Beauty’s mission. To date, Cheekbone Beauty has contributed upwards of $200,000 in product, monetary, and project-focused donations to the organizations across North America and will continue to do so.

Tia Loftsgard
Executive Director, Canada Organic Trade Association
Chris Anderson
VP of Sustainable Strategies and Senior Trade Advisor, Organic Trade Association

Tia Loftsgard and Chris Anderson will present the latest organic market trends across Canada and the United States and discuss the upcoming Organic Equivalency Arrangement, including updates to the Canadian and U.S. organic regulations.

Tia Loftsgard is the Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association since 2016. Tia has worked in the field of organic and international agricultural trade for over 20 years. She got her start in organic by founding the first ever Fairtrade organic chocolate company (Camino) and has held senior roles with Fairtrade International, the fairtrade certification organization. Tia is currently the Chair of the Organic Technical Advisory Committee with CFIA, a voting member of the Organic Standards Technical Committee, the organic representation on the Agile Regulations Agriculture Canada Roundtable and the lead on organic data with the Government of Canada.

Chris Anderson is a lifelong organic foods activist passionate about food and organic agriculture. This passion began at a young age as he and his family sat around the dinner table discussing the daily challenges of operating America’s original organic farm, Walnut Acres. The business grew rapidly from a small family farm into a nationwide iconic organic food brand, ultimately influencing US policy and national organic standards.

Chris’ work in the organic industry continues today as Vice President of Sustainable Strategies and Senior Trade Advisor for the Organic Trade Association. He routinely advises world governments and corporations on navigating global organic standards to expand international trade opportunities. He has participated in the GAP analysis and strategic planning for each of the current US organic equivalency agreements, including those with the EU and Canada, and ongoing work with Chile, Mexico, and India. Chris has represented the organic industry through numerous speaking engagements, including at Natural Products Expo, Biofach, and Gulfood.

Lunch time! For those joining us for our Keynote session at 12 p.m., we'll be kicking it off with a complimentary lunch. Space is limited so get there early to save your spot. Pre registration is not required. Lunch is first-come-first-served.

Elatia Abate
Keynote Speaker and Futurist
Keynote Session
Sponsored by:  

Futurist thinking is now a vital skill in our rapidly changing world. It not only helps us survive, but gives us the power to thrive, by helping us create opportunities within our personal lives and workplaces.

In this timely talk, I teach audiences how to think like a futurist and turn trends into tangible results with accessible tools that can be applied to their day-to-day lives.

Audiences Will Learn:

  • Why futurist thinking is imperative and the implications of not using it
  • How to turn current trends and disruptions into tangible results that create impact
  • Strategies to help secure a competitive advantage in their career or organization

Named a leading female futurist by Forbes, Elatia Abate helps organizations thrive in the face of disruption, prepare for the ever-changing future, and design new ways to scale and create growth. Her actionable keynotes leave audiences equipped with the tools necessary for long-term success — even in the face of uncertainty.

Hamza Khan
Managing Director at Student Life Network

Have you ever wondered if your digital identity is affecting your chances of landing a job? Would you like to learn how to build an online brand that is appealing to employers? It’s been said that your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room this session explores the ways in which individuals can begin to understand their personal narrative and communicate it through social media. Stories are the fundamental unit of human understanding. Yet some brands continue to make the mistake of taking their audiences for granted instead treating them with genuine care.

This session explores how brands can utilize social media to humanize themselves and tell authentic and compelling stories. If you’re looking to run your own business or work to craft the image of someone else’s, this workshop will examine how to use utility, information, amusement, and inspiration as “magic ingredients” to earn the attention, trust, and ultimately the loyalty of online audiences.

Khan is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling author, and world-renowned keynote speaker whose TEDx talk “Stop Managing, Start Leading” has been viewed over two million times. He has spoken on various global stages, including the World Youth Forum, and his clients have included some of the world’s most dynamic companies and organizations, such as Microsoft, PepsiCo, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Salesforce, TikTok, and hundreds of colleges and universities. These leading organizations trust Khan to inspire modern leadership, unleash purposeful productivity, transcend burnout culture, and embrace constant change.

Moderated by Hans Eisenbeis
Director of Mission & Messaging at the Non-GMO Project
Sasha Bricel
Director of Marketing at Nature's Path
My-Lien Bosch
Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Manager at the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA)
Lucy Sharratt
Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Join us to hear industry leaders discuss the threat that unidentified gene edited food and food ingredients could pose to the sector and to your brand. Gene editing techniques like CRISPR are poised to create a flood of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) but recent government decisions in Canada and the US allow many of these new GMOs to skip government regulation. These GMOs can be released onto the market without disclosure to government and without transparency in the supply chain. This lack of transparency could create new complications and costs for businesses in the health food sector. It presents new challenges to Non-GMO Project verification and organic certification and will challenge consumer trust.

Hans Eisenbeis is Director of Mission & Messaging at the Non-GMO Project, North America's leading authority on biotechnology and non-GMO verification in the natural products industry. Previously he was a communications executive at Organic Valley. He lives in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State.

Sasha is a Cannes and D + AD award winning marketer and leader with over 10+ years of experience who aims to leave the earth better than she found it. As The Director of Marketing at Nature’s Path in Vancouver BC, Sasha is responsible for bringing Nature’s Path brands to the world, growing the Nature’s Path Organic Leadership legacy and driving leadership effectiveness. Sasha and her team are dedicated to working with partners like COTA, CBAN, Non GMO project and Food Banks to make organic food more accessible to more people and driving progress for food sovereignty.

My-Lien Bosch is the Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Manager at the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA). She has been leading discussions with government regarding organic priorities and challenges related to gene editing. Prior to joining COTA, she was the Director of Technical Services at the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada and had worked for several companies on technical, regulatory and certification files. My-Lien has a MSc in food science and also has a background in food manufacturing and product development for human and animal food.

Lucy Sharratt works in Halifax as the Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, also known as CBAN. CBAN brings together 15 groups to research, monitor and raise awareness about issues relating to genetic engineering in food and farming. CBAN members include farmer associations, environmental and social justice organizations, and regional coalitions of grassroots groups. Lucy previously worked as a campaigner and researcher on this issue at the Sierra Club of Canada and the Polaris Institute in Ottawa.

Dr. Thalia Charney, MA, ND (inactive)
Nutrition and Health Education Manager for the NOW® Brand in Canada
Brand School
Presented by:  

Collagen is one of the most sought-after ingredients in the beauty industry, from topical to edible products; it is the human equivalent of construction scaffolding. Collagen gives structure and strength to your skin, bones, joints and tendons. While collagen supplements have sparked interest it also fueled confusion. Marketing hype has led us to believe in the myth of THE ideal dose or THE best source. With a touch of nuance, a dash of perspective and a heap of science, you will find that a variety of products can take their place at the throne, when the situation calls for it.

Dr. Thalia is a naturopathic doctor (currently inactive), author and the Nutrition and Health Education Manager for the NOW® Brand in Canada. With over 30 years in the health industry, her formal training, as well as personal and professional experience, form a strong basis for her speaking and education.

Caroline Farquhar, RHN, EMP, BA
National Training Manager for Renew Life® Canada and NeoCell® Canada
Brand School
Presented by:
sponsor of session

A healthy gut microbiome impacts the health of your entire body with increasing evidence suggesting it’s essential for a well-functioning immune system as well as good mental health. Please join Caroline Farquhar, RHN, EMP, BA and National Training Manager for Renew Life® Canada to learn more about how a healthy gut may impact your immune and mental health, and which Renew Life® Products can best support you and your customers.

Caroline is the National Training Manager for Renew Life® Canada and NeoCell® Canada and is a sought-after expert in digestive care and cleansing. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, has taught at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and is a popular guest on TV and radio shows across the country.

Sofia Constantinou
Associate Director of Business & Member Development at Health First Network
Brand School
Presented by:  

Save time and increase revenue to grow your business through Health First Network, Canada’s only non-profit buying and marketing group devoted to strengthening the businesses of our independent retail Members.

Learn how to leverage our business tools, data, vendor discounts and exclusive Health First product suite to gain a critical edge in a highly competitive market. With over 110 Members representing 150 locations across Canada since 1999, we have a proven value system that has supported retailers to grow as independents with a national retailer's purchasing and marketing power. Our network is here to support your business and community needs.

Sofia Constantinou and her team at Health First support over 150 independent natural health locations across Canada. Together, they help their Members better their business strategies to support Canadians' health. With a Member exclusive supplement brand, a national flyer program, vendor discount, and digital and print marketing assets, they provide vital initiatives to move your business forward in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Brad King
Nutritional Researcher
Brand School
Presented by:  
sponsor of session

Join award-winning nutritional researcher and formulator, Brad King as he unravels the secrets of ageless vitality. Discover the extraordinary benefits of Humic-Fulvic Acid Complexes and how these ancient wonders may hold the key to slowing biological aging, supercharging cellular energy, and fine-tuning immunity. Brad will also share the latest research from his new book, The Immune Breakthrough, on chronic stress and how to eliminate it from your customers' lives once and for all. Differentiate your business, and empower your clientele towards optimized health, vitality, and longevity. It’s time to revolutionize your approach to health—don't miss out!

Brad King is an award-winning nutritional researcher, product formulator and bestselling author of 12 books, including three international bestsellers. He was a guest professor at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine and is noted as one of Canada’s most sought after authorities on nutrition, obesity, longevity and men’s health. Brad was inducted into the prestigious Sports Nutrition Hall of Fame and was awarded the Best in Canada Award for Health Motivator, Educator and Public Speaker.

In collaboration with CHFA and MEDJCT, the trade commissioners from Beijing and Shanghai are pleased to invite you to participate in an upcoming B2B session with several Chinese distributors, e-commerce platforms and service providers interested in working with Canadian companies to bring Canadian Natural Health Products to the Chinese market. Whether you are already operating in the Chinese market and looking for new opportunities, or just starting to consider China in your future expansion plans, this will be a great chance to meet some key contacts and learn more about how to approach this market. We invite you to bring some of your best sample products to showcase to the Chinese delegation during your 1-on-1 meetings, as well as any brand introduction documents you would like to provide.

Sherry Torkos
Holistic Pharmacist & Author
Brand School
Presented by:   

Over half of Canadians suffer with poor digestion. Gas, bloating, stomach pain, and constipation can be distressing and also a sign of underlying food intolerance or sensitivity. Considering that poor digestion impacts everything from our mood to energy levels, nutrient absorption, immune system function and more, getting digestion on track is key. Join holistic pharmacist and author Sherry Torkos to learn how you can help customers combat food sensitivities, improve digestion and find food freedom harnessing the power of clinically proven digestive enzymes. All attendees will receive a free bottle of digestive enzymes courtesy of Enzymedica.

Sherry Torkos is a holistically-oriented pharmacist, accomplished author and dedicated health professional, renowned for her passion for wellness and disease prevention. She is frequently interviewed by radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad on health matters. Sherry has authored 18 books and booklets, including The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Saving Women’s Hearts, and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.

Julie Drapeau
Vice-President of Sales at Purity Life Health Products LP
Erin Macklin,
Trade Marketing Manager at Purity Life Health Products LP
Brand School
Presented by:  

In this interactive discussion, Julie and Erin will highlight upcoming trends based on current research, sales data, and seasonal fluctuations. They will transform the numbers into real, tangible actions you can take in your store and products you will want to have available to fulfill market demand.

As Purity Life’s resident expert on the natural personal care category and Vice President of Sales, Julie Drapeau loves to share her passion and 28 years of experience in the Natural Health industry. Winner of CHFA NOW Toronto 2022 Woman of Influence Award which celebrates female leaders who play a vital role in building a better and more prosperous business and industry. When Julie is not working you will be finding her doing CrossFit, bodybuilding or focused on being a healthier and stronger version of herself to help motivate and inspire others to do the same.

Erin Macklin managed Independent Health Food Retail for more than 5 years before joining Purity Life. Over the last decade she has fulfilled a variety of different roles with Purity Life, expanding her knowledge of natural wellness and currently heads up the marketing team. Erin currently holds a seat on the CHFA Supplier Advisory Council. Erin loves innovation, health, and anything new and exciting.

Dr. Olivia Rose, ND
Account Manager for St. Francis Herb Farm
Brand School
Presented by:  

Kids, like our herbs, are incredible in their capacity for healing. Join Dr. Olivia Rose, ND as she discusses our lineup of plant medicine formulated specifically for children. She will review both the safety and efficacy of the use of herbs in children, including helpful tips to get them involved with their medicine. Our new line is intended to power the resilience, growth, and energy of your little ones.

Dr. Olivia Rose is a naturopathic doctor with over 17 years of clinical experience and an Account Manager for St. Francis Herb Farm. Her passion for holistic patient care, nutraceuticals and herbal remedies is the driving force behind her thriving practice, Rose Health Clinic, which she founded in Toronto. Her extensive knowledge and commitment to wellness have earned her a reputation as a sought-after contributor on local TV broadcasts, online publications, and podcasts.

Janette Bell, CNP, FDN, BA(H)
Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Brand School
Presented by:   

Green superfoods powders have been around for decades but they’re starting to show their age. New scientific research, emerging ingredient trends, and evolving consumer needs have created a tailwind for this category, but brands need to adapt. While 6-8 servings of greens in a glass once made sense, today’s consumer wants more. Attend this session to learn how VegeGreens by Progressive is leading the charge with:

  • The latest plant-based ingredients that consumers want (and that really works!)
  • How to judge the balance between ingredient variety and therapeutic potencies
  • The true value of transparency (declared potencies), relevant ingredients (like mushrooms), and powerful claims (Health Canada Approved!)
  • And more!

Janette is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a background in cognitive science. Outside of educating for Jamieson Wellness, Janette has developed her online nutrition practice to specialize in digestive and mental health. This is where she works with individuals, businesses, as well as organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association. Janette is passionate about education in the health and wellness space as she has experienced firsthand the profound benefits of understanding how the body works as well as awareness of how to help the body thrive!

Jake Karls
Co-Founder & Chief Rainmaker of Mid-Day Squares
Erica Rankin
CEO of Bro Dough

LFG!!! Join Jake Karls, of Mid-Day Squares, along with Bro Dough CEO, Erica Rankin, as we get real about the highs and lows of building a brand in the public eye and the ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude that it takes to succeed.

Jake Karls is a different type of business leader – unapologetically authentic, refreshingly relatable, and completely free of bullshit.

He is the Co-founder and Chief Rainmaker of Mid-Day Squares, the better-for-you chocolate brand that turned a kitchen-table dream into a multi-national household name. Mid-Day Squares is leading the disruption of an extremely competitive industry: Chocolate.

Erica is the founder and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Bro Dough, a functional & nostalgic snack brand. They recently just launched their new natural & gluten free protein cookie dough bites which will be hitting shelves across Canada. Erica has built a community of almost 300k followers across her social channels completely organically, and bootstrapped Bro Dough for the first 2 and a half years. Her mission is to showcase the reality of entrepreneurship through social media, and take her community along for the journey.

Janette Bell, CNP, FDN, BA(H)
Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Brand School
Presented by:   

More than a third of Canadians report struggling to get the recommended amount of sleep per night, and while most sleep-aids on the market today rely on Melatonin, some consumers report side effects, like daytime drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and more. We’re pleased to introduce our new non-melatonin based natural sleep aid - Progressive Ashwagandha Sleep, with unique, superior sleep quality benefits vs existing products in market. Attend this session to find out more about Shoden® Ashwagandha and some of the latest trends in sleep research.

Janette is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a background in cognitive science. Outside of educating for Jamieson Wellness, Janette has developed her online nutrition practice to specialize in digestive and mental health. This is where she works with individuals, businesses, as well as organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association. Janette is passionate about education in the health and wellness space as she has experienced firsthand the profound benefits of understanding how the body works as well as awareness of how to help the body thrive!

Cyril Meyre ND.A
Orna Villazan ND
Naturopathic Doctor
Brand School
Presented by:
sponsor of session

Please join two naturopaths with more than 40 years of combined clinical experience for a discussion about important health topics that people are facing today. Discover our outside-the-box protocols and learn what your clients really need with practical solutions and therapeutic results from Alterra/Herbasanté products.

  • Address chronic stress and build up your energy. Get to the root cause for meaningful results!
  • Overcome long lasting chronic symptoms from seasonal viral infections
  • Reverse metabolic/ inflammatory syndrome and reset your body

Cyril is a Naturopath (ND.A), a hypnotherapist, speaker, trainer, consultant and teacher at EESNQ. He also uses iridology and live blood analysis in his practice and oversees product research and development for Herbasanté & Alterra brands.

Orna is a Naturopathic Doctor with over 20 year's experience in the field of naturopathic medicine, she is the Medical Advisor for TallGrass Natural Health and loves teaching and supporting plant lovers across the country.

Dr. Elie Klein N.D.
Formulator & Scientific Officer for Nanton Nutraceuticals.
Brand School
Presented by:   

Unravel the fascinating world of hormones!

Discover the surprising truth about estrogen, which extends beyond its traditional ""female"" role to become a potent stress hormone when in excess.

Challenge common misconceptions about testosterone's role in anger and violence. Delve into the powerful potential of progesterone as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Explore the profound influence of these hormones on human health and longevity, while understanding how they are affected by toxins, nutrition, exercise, and medicinal plants.

Uncover the nuances of standard testing and viable alternatives, offering the keys to achieving balance and vitality for a thriving life."

Dr. Elie Klein N.D. is a clinician, author, speaker, as well as, formulator & scientific officer for Nanton Nutraceuticals. He aims to identify and address the root cause of chronic health issues using his knowledge in physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, and herbal medicine. Dr. Klein encourages a holistic approach to wellness that focuses on treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. His expertise, compassion, and dedication have helped countless individuals achieve optimal health and well-being.

Angela Ysseldyk, CNP
Co-owner of Dutchman's Gold
Brand School
Presented by:  
sponsor of session

Discover the Hidden Gems of Beehive Ingredients for Wellness in this captivating 45-minute talk by Dutchman's Gold. Explore the treasure trove of natural wonders within the beehive, from bee pollen to royal jelly, captivating health-conscious individuals. Led by the daughter of the Canadian founding beekeeper, a nutritional practitioner, and visionary entrepreneur, unravel the beehive's secrets. Immerse yourself in Dutchman's Gold's inspiring journey from 1981 to present-day success. Learn about propolis' healing properties, beehive superfoods' exceptional benefits, and the impact of a bee-friendly promise on our planet. Don't miss this golden opportunity to join the beehive revolution!

Angela Ysseldyk, a second-generation entrepreneur and co-owner of Dutchman's Gold, embarks on a remarkable journey spreading beehive goodness. With 25 years as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, she aids Canadians in achieving optimal wellness. Angela's unwavering passion, business acumen, and nutritional expertise fuel her mission to empower people to lead extraordinary lives. As Co-Owner & Director of Spreading Beehive Goodness for Dutchman’s Gold, she continues her dedication to the beehive's marvels.

Aaron Skelton
President & CEO, CHFA
Lynsey Walker
VP of Marketing & Communications, CHFA
Emma Andrews, BA, RHN, NPD
Jennifer Love
President at Duet PR
Zeb Barrett
Vice-President of Brand Strategy at Pigeon

In a world of viral TikToks, it can feel like everything is a trend. But what is really shaping consumer behaviour and preference, especially as they shop and think about health and wellness? Join us for a panel discussion that deep dives into the macro forces shaping our industry in the years to come.

Emma is a dynamic leader with proven expertise in building global lifestyle brands. She combines her passion for education, innovation, health sciences and marketing to deliver an "anything but average" approach to building world-class programs, products, and experiences.

Through 10+ years experience across the natural products, sport nutrition, and cannabis industries, Emma's led the development of renowned consumer and trade marketing programs within consumer packaged goods and B2B business for both private and public companies. She's planned and facilitated hundreds of events across North America, launched and reformulated SKU's earning multi-million dollars in revenue across a variety of distribution channels including online, natural, big box retail, and highly regulated categories such as adult-use cannabis.

Combined with a passion for studying category and consumer trends, she’s developed a comprehensive understanding of best practices and innovation opportunities for retailers & brands.

Jennifer Love is a highly connected media relations expert with a pitch-perfect formula for creating and landing newsworthy opportunities for her clients. As the president of Duet PR and a dedicated mentor for up-and-coming female talent in the PR industry, her passion is crafting shareable stories that lead to positive change and social impact.

Zeb has spent his career working with senior leaders to identify the key problems to be solved, in order to deliver novel yet practical solutions. With deep expertise in brand and product innovation as well as advertising strategy, Zeb has a broad set of tools to apply to most any business. He has led strategy across most categories, including food & beverage, and agricultural producers.

Ali Connell
VP of Sales at Manitoba Harvest
Brand School
Presented by:   

For 25 years, Manitoba Harvest has been empowering consumer health through one of the world’s most sustainable superfoods: HEMP! Join us to explore our journey from early innovators and pioneers to the leading global authority on hemp-based foods, education, and agronomy. We will also look forward to our next 25 years, as consumers are incorporating more hemp foods into their diets and embracing hemp seed for its nutritional and environmental benefits. Conclude with an open Q&A with the Manitoba Harvest team.

Ali Connell, a veteran Sales Executive and VP of Sales for Manitoba Harvest, has spent her professional career channeling her expertise in Business Development and Sales Management into her personal passion: natural and organic foods. She honed her skills with industry-leaders, including Procter & Gamble and Hain Celestial, and has spent the past 14 years at Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods educating customers globally about the power of hemp to transform people's lives.

Mark C. Faulkner
Brand School
Presented by:   

This session will review consumer and business trends of the fastest growing supplement in North America. Creatine has been known by athletes to provide much needed energy to muscles, but now retailers are adding to their sales by making creatine available to the broader population that is learning it not only helps with fitness, but provides energy to ALL cells (brain cells, immune cells, heart cells, sexual wellness, etc.) and thereby is arguably the key to overall optimal health. In addition to new scientific data on creatine, market basket data on the new breed of creatine purchasers will be reviewed.

After earning a degree in Physics, Mark worked for Abbott Labs and fell in love with the “business of science”. He co-founded Aegis Labs whose original team developed the steroid program for the NFL. He oversaw forensic toxicology programs for various sports organizations, and major colleges. He then started Vireo Systems to research safe, legal supplements for athletes. That resulted in discovery of CON-CRET® creatine hydrochloride, awarded 8 patents and became the #1 specialty creatine.

Dr. Mimi
Founder & CEO at VGAM Biome
Brand School
Presented by:    

Can we care for our skin, simply and in total peace of mind?

As a chemist and skin microbiome scientist, Dr. Mimi has always felt that the multiple-step approach to skincare did not make sense. It took her daughter’s own struggles, after 30 years of her own cycles of trials and disappointments, to put everything together and sort out exactly why it doesn’t work, and how to make it work.

In this session, she’ll present her journey which led to the ONE Shuman skin approach and one healthy solution for the universal changing needs of the skin.

A passionate entrepreneur and scientist, a fierce advocate for transparency, Dr. Mimi demystifies the trends and myths in the health and wellness space, the dos and don'ts. She also develops microbiome science-based solutions that are aligned with her expertise and a healthy, mindful, and simplified lifestyle. After many years of researching solutions that make sense for the skin, the planet, and our lifestyle, she launched VGAM Biome, a healthy and ethical skincare line.

Dr. Darrin Starkey
VP of Training & Education at Trace Minerals
Brand School
Presented by:

Join Trace Minerals, Dr. Darrin Starkey to learn more about:

  • Soil depletion and the necessity for remineralization
  • The role of ionic trace minerals in maintaining a healthy pH in the body
  • The multiple benefits of our ConcenTrace
  • Magnesium; it’s important benefits for our heart, bones, nerves, digestive tract, for supporting quality sleep and promoting healthy, natural sleep patterns.
  • Trace Minerals’ different delivery systems

Dr. Darrin Starkey has been a board-certified naturopathic physician since 2000 and is a member of the American Alternative Medical Association (AAMA). He started working for Trace Minerals in 1991 and is now the VP of Training & Education. He is an expert in trace mineral nutrition, balance, and deficiency, and focuses on teaching the building blocks of a healthy diet and the important role trace minerals play in health and nutrition.

One of our most anticipated events, CHFA Launch Pad is where up-and-coming brands pitch our panel of judges for a chance to win a prize package worth $25k. This year, we’ll have the People’s Choice award for who YOU think should take home the big prize. If you get excited about a little competition, this is the place to be.

View Details

Sponsored by:

CHFA Members, you are invited to our Member Mixer! It's gearing up to be an awesome night filled with great food, bumping music and all around good vibes. Join us to kick off CHFA NOW Toronto, mingle with fellow members and make some great memories.

Trade Show

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Sponsored by:

Calling all retailers! Join us as we give you a sneak peak into CHFA NOW Toronto and the brands we think are deserving of the hype.

The first 100 retailers will receive a goodie bag filled with goodies from participating brands.

Oatmeal Bar + gourmet espresso bar for all attendees.

Retailer Gift Bag Sponsors:

Hit the trade show floor to explore new trends, connect with the industry and discover new brands and products.

Celebrate with us! Enjoy cocktails, a beer or your beverage of choice during happy hour on the show floor.

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Daiya Foods
Booth #710
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Jonluca Neal / Sable and Rosenfeld
Booth #524
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LeBeau Excel / HydraLyte
Booth #1546
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Marsham Natural Products Broker / GreenFresh Marketing
Booth #1924
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Booth #1601
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Ocean's Halo
Booth #2144
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Prana Biovegan Inc.
Booth #601
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Propel Natural Brands / Clearly Canadian
Booth #850
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Propel Natural Brands / Koops Mustard
Booth #943
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Star Marketing
Booth #1749
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Tree of Life Canada
Booth #1729
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UNFI Canada
Booth #809
Non-Alcoholic Beverages Available From These Brands
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Jonluca Neal/ Brew Dr.
Booth #510
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Jonluca Neal / LaCroix
Booth #537
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Jonluca Neal / Sobrii / Elias Honey
Booth #540
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North South Management
Booth #2350

Join us to find out this year’s Industry Achievement Award winners and who won our judges over at the Launch Pad competition. Let’s celebrate our community and all the hard work and dedication it took us to get here.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sponsored by:   

Calling all retailers! Get an exclusive look at the hottest new brands from Incubator Alley. The clock is ticking for these new brands as they get 60 seconds each to give you the scoop on what makes them the next great thing in natural, organic and wellness.

Breakfast + gourmet espresso bar for all attendees.

Hit the trade show floor to explore new trends, connect with the industry and discover new brands and products.