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Arran Stephens

Arran Stephens was born in 1944 and raised on Goldstream Berry Paradise farm. In the 1950’s, his dad embraced composting, mulching and many other regenerative organic practices. While planting sweet corn he told his young son, “Arra-boy, always leave the soil better than you found it.” After returning from seven months in India in 1967, Arran opened Canada’s first natural foods vegetarian restaurant. In 1969, he married his Life-partner Ratana and in 1971, opened LifeStream, Canada’s first large natural foods store in Vancouver. The husband and wife team began Nature’s Path Foods in 1985, which, after many struggles, became North America’s #1 organic breakfast foods company, employing more than 750 team members at three state-of-the-art facilities in US & Canada, as well as operating Legend Organic Farms, becoming the first Regenerative Organic Certified oat producer. In an age of sell-outs, Nature’s Path remains fiercely independent and family-owned. Their children and valued team members are carrying on the torch, with Arran and Ratana serving as mentors. Nature’s Path has been and is Always Organic, built around the ethos of leaving the earth better than we found it. Arran has served on numerous boards, including Organic Merchants, America’s first organic trade association in 1971; OTA during the formation and finalization of the USDA Organic Rule; Rodale Institute; UBC’s Land & Food Systems Advisory Board; past president of the Richmond Food Security Society; Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Organic Advisory Board, etc. Accolades are many, but a few include Ernst & Young’s 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year (2002), Organic Pioneer Award, Top Ten Best Companies in Canada to Work For (2015-2020), Greenest Company, Open Center of NY Leadership Award (2013), New Hope Media’s Hall of Legends Award (2013), etc. The University of Victoria announced that Arran & Ratana Stephens were to receive an honorary doctorate in education on Jun 7, 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic. Entrepreneur, artist, book author, ecology advocate, organic farmer and benefactor—Arran and Ratana have four children—two of whom are active leaders in Nature’s Path, and are grandparents to seven, six of whom are girls.