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Arran Stephens

Arran Stephens

Entrepreneur, artist, writer, ecology advocate, gardener, volunteer and meditation practitioner, Arran Stephens has passionately followed the beat of a distant drummer for seven decades. Born and raised on his family’s farm on Vancouver Island, Arran learned a valuable lesson from his dad: “Always leave the soil better than you found it.”  Leaving the Earth better became Arran’s driving ethos – from opening a successful vegetarian restaurant in 1967 to providing wholesome food in what was then a real food desert by creating Lifestream, Canada’s first natural foods supermarket (1971-1981). Arran and Ratana, his wife and partner of 45 years, share a profound commitment to organic agriculture, people and health. Together, from humble roots, they established Nature’s Path Foods in 1985, built on a foundation of social responsibility, sustainability and financial viability.
 
Overcoming the odds, Nature’s Path has blossomed to become North America’s largest organic breakfast foods company with plant operations in Delta BC, Blaine, WA and Sussex WI. In 2012 Arran welcomed Que Pasa Mexican Foods and their delicious stone-ground, organic tortilla chips and salsas into the Nature’s Path family. Despite an age of consolidation and sell-outs, Nature’s Path remains proudly independent, with the next generation of son, daughter and other team leaders in place and to carry on the founders’ passion and mission. "No part of Nature's Path is for sale," is a frequent mantra.
 
Arran served on the Organic Trade Association board during the development of the USDA Organic Rule, was a founding member of the Non-GMO Project and has been an avid supporter of federal and state-level mandatory GMO labeling initiatives. He has been a recipient of many industry awards and accolades including Ernst & Young’s 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year, the Schumacher Sustainability Award, the OTA 2013 Organic Leadership Award for Growing the Organic industry, in addition to being inducted into the New Hope and CHFA Halls of Legends.
 
When not digging in his large organic garden, or the office, Arran lives to educate and bring about positive change through the written word. Published works include Journey to the Luminous (Elton-Wolf, 1999), Moth & the Flame and The Compassionate Diet—How What You Eat Can Change Your Life and Save the Planet, (Rodale Books, 2011).