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Adventist Health Food Leaders Hold Conference, Share Ideas

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HEALTH FOOD LEADERS: Kevin Jackson, CEO of Adventist-owned Sanitarium Health Food Company, left, and Joel Zukovski, International Health Food Ministry director for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, during the 2008 IHFM conference in Sydney, Australian March, representatives from several Seventh-day Adventist health food businesses from around the world held a three-day conference in Sydney, Australia. Sanitarium Health Food Company in Australia, the largest producer of breakfast cereal in the country, was host for the gathering of the International Health Food Ministry Conference.

The theme of this world conference was “Together Sharing Health and Hope.” Opportunities for sharing and collaboration were enriched by seminars on “The Philosophy of the Health Food Ministry”; “The Role of Branding and Marketing”; “Innovation and Growth: New Product Strategies”; “Building Supply Chain Efficiency”; and “Nutritional Components of Soy Milk and Meat Analogues.”

“It has been our privilege to host the recent International Health Food Ministry Conference,” said Barry Oliver, president of the Adventist Church’s South Pacific Division. “I would like to commend [Sanitarium] chief executive officer, Kevin Jackson, and his team for the professional manner in which the conference was convened. There is obvious benefit in meeting together to exchange ideas and strategies. The health food companies can forward the mission of the church by being actively involved in mission-focused activities.”

Stoy Proctor, associate director of the Health Ministries Department of the General Conference and presenter of one of the seminars, commented, “The health food ministry is far more complex and important than I realized. The ministry permeates the workforce and consumer with the mission of Christ, while being on the cutting edge of production.”

Collectively, the food factories around the world contribute millions of dollars to the mission of the church each year.

Making and marketing vegetarian foods—a business related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s health-promotion message, yet one of the movement’s “best-kept secrets,” as it has been called—is having a positive effect in many nations. With more than 40 health food companies scattered in various parts of the world, the church’s International Health Food Association oversees this “major player” in what is becoming a worldwide health-conscious trend.