B.C. Couple Win Prestigious Organic Award

Stephens Family Nature’s Path Foods | BCBusiness
The Stephens family is behind Richmond-based Nature’s Path Foods.

Richmond-based Nature’s Path Foods beats 26 competitors to nab North American organic leadership award

The B.C. couple who founded Richmond-based Nature’s Path Foods Inc. have beat out 26 other nomineees to snag the Organic Trade Association‘s (OTA) 2013 Organic Leadership award. Being recognized for their contributions to the growth of the organic industry are Arran and Ratana Stephens, who founded the company in 1985.

In 1990, Nature’s Path became one of the first third-party certified organic processers in North America. Today it employs more than 500 people in Canada and the U.S. The company remains a privately run family business.

Citing the Stephens’s “fearless and passionate devotion to the growth and success of the organic food movement,” the OTA highlighted the couple’s involvement in industry associations and working groups in both the U.S. and Canada as instrumental in their selection. The Stephens’s prioritization of environmental stewardship—including purchasing 1,165 hectares of organic farmland to partner with farmers on a crop-share basis, donating $20 million in money and food items to food banks and establishing a fund for conservation and environmental projects—are among their many contributions to the industry.

An OTA Organic Leadership Award is the association’s highest honor. The award is given annually to an individual, inside or outside the organic industry, who has shown leadership and vision in furthering goals of the organic movement.

The Stephens will be recognized on September 25 at OTA’s Annual Awards Celebration during Natural Products Expo East at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.