By Megan Barber, Grocery and Wellness Buyer, Merchandising Manager, Co-op Owner
Finding a brand that has complete control over their sourcing, production, and delivery can be a difficult to do! I recently attended a food conference where we had the pleasure of listening to Nature’s Path founder, Arran Stephens, speak about the state of the food industry as well as the future of food. His introduction to us was a little background on Nature’s Path, the company he founded back in 1985 with
his wife Ratana to bring good healthy foods to his family. Since the early days, Nature’s Path has and continues to provide organic breakfast and snack foods grown with sustainable farm practices all over North America. Growing up on an organic farm, Arran continued on the path and currently Nature’s Path is family owned and run. No corporations own Nature’s Path – that is amazing as Nature’s Path is north America’s largest certified organic breakfast producer with over 150 products!
So what’s the big deal about being certified organic? The seal is backed by strict federal production and processes rules. It also encompasses that the products and ingredients protect natural resources, conserve biodiversity, and used only approved substances. Learn more here!
But producing amazing cereals, toaster pastries, more isn’t all that Nature’s Path excels at! They hold an annual fundraiser to raise money and donations for local food banks. They’ve exceeded $1,300,000 worth of food to date.
For every Love Crunch product they sell, they donate money to another food bank up to a million dollars!
Through their EnviroKidz products, they donate 1% of sales to nonprofits supporting endangered species, habitat restoration, and environmental education. They’ve raised over $3 million to date!
Every year, they give out three $15,000 grants to nonprofits supporting their organic gardening projects that focus on low-income areas where people struggle to find affordable nutritious foods.
Focusing on themselves, Nature’s Path has achieved Zero-Waste certifications for all three of its facilities and has diverted over 92% of their waste from landfills in 2014 and 2015 – that’s over 3,800 tons per year! They’ve also kept over 38,500 tons of chemical fertilizers and over 7,500 tons of pesticides out of the soil in 2014 and 2015! Over 78% of their product’s ingredients are sourced from North America. Other products needed, like cocoa, coconut, sugar cane, and vanilla are sourced from high quality organic sources. To read more about their sustainability report, click here!
After attending the conference, I dug more into Nature’s Path and the mission they have to support organic foods and farming, was just astounded at what they are doing! Their website is perfect for new and interesting recipes like a personal favorite Caramelized Bananas and Oatmeal.