|Founder||Arran Stephens; Ratana Stephens|
|Headquarters||Richmond, British Columbia, Canada|
|42 Countries Worldwide|
|Arran Stephens, CEO; Ratana Stephens, COO|
|Products||Breakfast cereal; granola|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Nature's Path, Envirokidz, Que Pasa|
Nature's Path Foods, commonly known as Nature's Path, is a privately held, family-owned producer of certified organic foods. Originally known for its breakfast cereals, it now has a portfolio of more than 150 products. Founded in 1985 by Arran and Ratana Stephens, Nature's Path employs approximately 500 people, with manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States and sales in more than 40 countries. All of its products are vegetarian, certified organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Nature's Path is a triple bottom line social enterprise, and has been recognized for incorporating the notion of sustainability into its business practices through its support of various charitable and eco-friendly initiatives. The company is regularly named one of Canada's best employers.
The company was started by Arran Stephens and Ratana Stephens in 1985 in British Columbia, Canada and the first product was Manna Bread. The Stephens' son, Arjan, and daughters, Jyoti and Gurdeep, currently work at Nature’s Path. Prior to opening Nature’s Path, Arran Stephens opened Canada’s first large organic supermarket in 1971, called Lifestream, and sold a successful line of natural products. Lifestream was sold to Kraft in 1981, but bought back by Stephens in 1995. In September 2018, Nature's Path announced plans to move their head office from Richmond to East Vancouver.
The Organic Trade Association recognized founders Arran and Ratana Stephens with the award for Growing Organic Leadership in 2013 and a Nature’s Path farmer, Doug Crabtree, with the Farmer of the Year award. Food in Canada recognized Nature’s Path with the 2014 award for Leadership in Sustainability.
Environmental & Social Sustainability
Nature’s Path helped to establish the Sustainable Food Trade Association and in 2009 was one of the first companies to sign onto the Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association’s Declaration of Sustainability to promote sustainable practices in the food industry.
The company became zero-waste certified in 2010 and have committed to complete carbon neutrality by 2020. So far Nature’s Path has successfully implemented practices that have diverted 92% of their waste from landfills; reduced packaging saving 825,540 gallons of wastewater, 437 tons of paperboard, 7,464 million BTUs of energy and 1.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide; they have launched a supplier code of conduct for labor; empowered employees to take ownership of sustainability and green initiatives; and through their commitment to organic farming have kept over 418,000 lbs of chemical pesticides out of the soil.
Nature’s Path is committed to many charitable and social initiatives. Their Gardens for Good program awards three $15,000 grants to urban gardens to help educate and feed their communities every year – totalling $270,000 so far; they hold an Eat Well Do Good foodraiser for food banks every year which has raised over $750,000 in food to date. Additionally Nature’s Path’s Bite for Bite program commits $1 million to North American food banks and through the EnviroKidz brand’s 1% for the Planet affiliation, work to help save endangered species.
The company has purchased of 2,880 acres of organic farmland in Saskatchewan that it crop shares with family farmers (Fox Valley, Legend Farms, Tompkins Landing Heritage Organic Farms) as well as 2,760 acres in Montana (at Wild Horse, Vilicus Farms – including partnership and apprenticeship program) for a total of 5,640 acres of organic farmland. Nature’s Path serves as an outlet/processor for many independent organic family farmers representing approximately 100,000 organic acres.
Nature’s Path has been a staunch opponent of GMO proliferation since 2001, and founder Arran Stephens was an early supporter and board member of the Non-GMO Project. Nature’s Path products are tested to bear the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal. The brand sponsored the making of documentary GMO OMG by Jeremy Seifert in 2013 and the Right2Know GMO March in 2011. The company was active in supporting the failed Proposition 37, previously the California Right to Know ballot initiative, for mandatory GMO labeling in California by contributing $600,000, plus time and support, as well as supporting the Oregon and Colorado Right to Know campaigns in 2014.
EWG commissioned independent lab tests and found amounts of glyphosate in Nature Path's Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats. Glyphosate was detected in two out of three samples tested, albeit at levels less than a fifth of the EWG's child-protective health benchmark for daily exposure. In response, Natures Path explained that with the massive increase in glyphosate use, air- or water-borne contamination of organically farmed crops cannot always be avoided. In the same tests, no glyphosate was detected in Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond granola.
A blogger on Nature's Path's website had previously explained that glyphosate can still be a contaminant in foods farmed as non-GMO. In the Comments section of said blog, Nature's Path evaded answering whether it uses glyphosates as dessicants on the oats it grows/purchases, although the article states "Banned for use with organic farming, glyphosate is a tool employed by conventional farmers, ... who use it as a desiccant on grain and bean crops".
The company’s organic products are sold under the Nature’s Path®, Love Crunch®, Qi’a®, Flax Plus®, EnviroKidz®, and Que Pasa® brand names in grocery and specialty foods stores in over 42 countries worldwide.
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