2021 Inductees

Arran & Ratana Stephens
2021 Inductee
Arran & Ratana Stephens

ARRAN STEPHENS

Arran Stephens has passionately helped pioneer the organic movement for over 50 years —before it became a global industry. Born on his family’s farm in 1944, he learned an invaluable lesson from his dad: “Always leave the soil better than you found it.” Bettering the earth, communities, and the world has been his lifelong work. 

Arran opened Canada’s first vegetarian restaurant in 1967.  In 1971, he opened a natural foods store and distributor of organic foods. In 1985, he and his wife Ratana founded Nature’s Path, which would go on to become the world’s largest independent organic cereal brand. In an age of sell-outs, Nature’s Path remains a proudly independent family enterprise, involved in farming, processing and sharing organic products worldwide.   

Arran’s, life-companion and co-CEO for many years —Ratana, son Arjan, and daughter Jyoti, help lead from the front at Nature’s Path, along with many hundreds of valued team members. The family has invested deeply in regenerative organic farming and farmland in Canada and the USA, via its Legend Organic Farms—supporting a higher-level of organic than the minimum required by USDA. 

Arran has received many high-profile awards during his career, including; an Organic Pioneer Award from Rodale Institute (2018) the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2002) and induction into the BC Laureates Hall of Fame (2020). 

Arran’s published works include Journey to the Luminous (Elton-Wolf, 1999), Moth & the Flame (online), and The Compassionate Diet—How What You Eat Can Change Your Life and Save the Planet, (Rodale Books, 2011). 

Since 2019, Arran has taken on the role of Chairman at Nature’s Path. In his spare time, he enjoys organic gardening, painting, and spending time with his grandchildren.  

RATANA STEPHENS

Ratana Stephens founded Nature’s Path Foods with her husband Arran in 1985.  As CEO and co-founder, she has grown Nature’s Path to become North America’s largest independent certified organic breakfast and snack food company, while remaining firmly committed to the mission of leaving the earth better than you found it.   

A dedicated student, Ratana studied psychology and Sanskrit at Arga University in India, where she also obtained an MA in English literature. She went on to become a college lecturer, before meeting her husband Arran and moving to Vancouver.  

Ratana remains at the center of every development within the company, which operates on the triple-bottom line of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial viability, in that order. Since 2008, Ratana and Arran personally, and additionally through Nature’s Path, have committed to donating almost $40 million to various philanthropic and community service efforts.   

As a role model for women in business, Ratana’s contribution to the successful growth of Nature’s Path has been recognized by the business community through a variety of awards, including being named as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. Ratana has also been awarded the distinguished YWCA Women of Distinction Award for entrepreneurship and innovation, regarding her impact on business and sustainability. Most recently, she was honored with an Influential Women in Business Award by Business in Vancouver.