Hemp Industries Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) to promote the advancement of hemp-extract product research, safety, and identity and quality standards for hemp foods and dietary products. The memorandum recognizes the cooperation between the two industry leaders to advance consumer confidence, industry standards, and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations regarding hemp-extract products.

The agreement ensures that the two organizations will work together on educational initiatives promoting the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Good Manufacturing Practices regulation, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, and general FDA regulatory and compliance for foods and dietary supplements, among others.

“UNPA has spent a great amount of time and energy evaluating appropriate relationships within the hemp and cannabis community,” said Loren Israelsen, UNPA president. “Organizationally, we wanted to better understand the fundamentals of the hemp industry, including farming, processing and extraction systems. UNPA fully supports the movement to hemp and its many uses. The health benefits and consumer interest in hemp extracts, CBD and other cannabinoids has become an important part of our work.”

“This MOU with the Hemp Industries Association advances these interests as the dietary supplement and hemp industries become allies in the commercial sector, as well as within regulatory, farm and foreign policy areas. We hope to help the hemp industry in its efforts to be fully compliant with food and supplement regulations, and to share our expertise in good manufacturing practices and quality compliance. We think this sharing of resources and expertise will add value for both organizations and both industries.”

“On behalf of the HIA and its leadership, I am thrilled that UNPA qualifies our association for this important partnership,” said Colleen Keahey Lanier, HIA executive director. “HIA members deserve to have the best information and training available to them. We look forward to sharing more information about the hemp industries, learning from UNPA and also advancing agreed upon initiatives along the way.”

The HIA will serve as a supporting partner to help promote UNPA’s Preventive Controls for Foods, Dietary Supplements and Botanically Derived Products and Ingredients training, to be held June 26-28, 2019, in Denver. The training course will focus on dietary supplements, foods and botanically derived ingredients used in the food and dietary supplement industry, including hemp and hemp-oil products, and the requirements of the Dietary Supplement Good Manufacturing Practices regulation. After successfully completing UNPA’s training course, participants will leave with a PCQI certificate of training and an understanding of the biological, chemical and physical hazards that may occur during manufacturing and product development.

FSMA requires each facility to have a PCQI on site to establish, implement and manage the required, written, hazard analysis and food safety plans for all food products and ingredients. As part of the two organizations’ new partnership, HIA members who attend the PCQI training will be offered the UNPA member price for the course.

“We hope our members will take full advantage of this collaborative opportunity,” said Keahey Lanier. “The training offered through UNPA is increasingly valuable as the hemp industry continues to grow and hemp foods are now seen as a mainstream dietary staple, as opposed to a novelty. We must ensure that our members are fully compliant with all existing federal regulations, prepared and informed if we wish to advance the strides we’ve made as an industry.”

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