Navigating Natural & Organic: Carl Gibson, Complementary Medicines Australia
The natural and organic industry is continuously growing and shifting, with new trends, regulations, products and practices being introduced into market everyday. How does one keep on top of it all? Naturally Good has you covered, as we speak to industry professionals and experts on the hottest topics and trends, business practices and solutions, and what’s happening in the natural and organic industry.
With a career spanning over 25 years, Carl Gibson has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the healthcare sector. Carl has specialised in Regulation, Public Policy and Campaign Communications and was appointed as CEO of industry association Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) in 2013. We asked Carl for his thoughts about the growth of the natural health sector and its evolution over the years, as well as his predictions on where he thinks the industry is headed.
How has the natural health and complementary medicine industry evolved over recent years?
Australia’s complementary medicines industry is well established having evolved over the last 30 years to become a world class industry that innovates and delivers the highest quality products in the world. We have seen tremendous growth in our industry with a 55% compound growth in the vitamins and dietary supplement category in just 5 years. We are now a $5.6 billion industry with a strong export capability. We have grown our export markets from $175 million five years ago to a $1 billion export powerhouse today as consumers enjoy and rely on Australia’s high-quality complementary medicines that are renowned for their quality safety and effectiveness.
With considerable growth in natural health, what is it about the industry and its offerings that consumers find so appealing?
Consumers are choosing wellness over illness. They understand that a good diet, fitness regime and supplementation will help them keep well and avoid illness. They are investing in high quality complementary medicines as part of their wellness strategy because Australian products deliver real results.
What predictions do you have about what we can expect for natural health? What kinds of products and services do you think will emerge?
Right now we are seeing high demand for elderberry, vitamin C, vitamin D, Zinc, Echinacea. Pre and Probiotics have seen double digit growth in Australia for the last few years as consumers look to support their healthy immune system. My prediction is that we will see a focus on personalised health which will become the next big thing. As consumer awareness grows they want to see their vitamin and supplements personalised to them, with the help of a natural healthcare practitioner.
With a number of regulations being needed to gain accreditation, what’s your advice to those businesses looking to enter the natural health and complementary medicines sector?
Australian complementary medicines are the most trusted in the world, and that’s because we are the most regulated in the world. The penalties for breaches include million dollar fines and jail terms. It’s a regulatory jungle, and my advice would be before you go into the jungle make sure you have an experienced guide. With the help of one of CMA’s regulatory consultants and of course by joining the peak industry body Complementary Medicines Australia.
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