Green Company Review: Nature’s Path Organic

Nature’s Path Organics is a great green company with seemingly no hidden eco-bashing skeletons in their closet.

BASICS: Nature’s Path Organics is the current reincarnation of an organic berry farm purchased in 1949 by Gwen and Rupert Stephens.  Later, the Stephens’ son Arran Stephens opened the first vegetarian restaurant on Canada’s west coast at the age of 23. Then in 1971 Arran founded the region’s first natural supermarket, LifeStream, with two partners. In 1981, the LifeStream store and brand was sold but Arran’s experience in retailing, manufacturing, and distribution lead to the 1985 founding of Nature’s Path.

Over the years, Nature’s Path has become one of leading brands of certified organic cereal in North America and has gone  international; selling in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Nature’s Path currently carries organics in many categories, including…

  • Cold Cereals
  • Granola
  • ECO PACs (the organic answer to bulk cereal)
  • Hot Cereals
  • Bars & Cookies
  • Waffles
  • Toaster Pastries
  • Baking Mixes & Ingredients
  • Manna Bread

Make the jump to learn more about Nature’s Paths’ eco pros and cons…


COMPANY PERKS:

  • Carries many products that are certified USDA Organic.
  • The company carries a large amount of food items that are suitable for various diets – from adults to kids to low-sodium to vegan and more. Products are also tasty and appealing while maintaining a grocery list of healthy ingredients.
  • The company’s home office is located in Richmond. BC and has plenty of eco-friendly aspects – on-site organic garden, compost bins, a rooftop garden, rainwater harvesting system, installed skylights in their offices to save on electricity and more.
  • Along with the eco-aspects of the company’s home base, Arran Stephens has been heavily involved in the organic movement. From producing the first USDA certified organic cereals, to buying up farmland in order to convert it to organic, to supporting outreach to organic farmers, to installing an organic garden at the corporate headquarters and more to keep organic advocacy at the forefront of the company’s mission.
  • Nature’s Path has an Organic Program Manager in 2003, who oversees organic operations of Nature’s Path. The manager also boosts connections with organic farmers and helps teach conventional farmers about the benefits of organic farming.
  • Nature’s Path uses non-toxic soy-based ink on all of their paperboard packaging.
  • They’ve reduced flaked cereal box sizes by 10% saving on unnecessary packaging waste. Most of their packaging is recyclable.
  • Factories donate line waste that can’t be reused to local farmers, thereby reducing trips to the landfill.
  • Donates damaged product to the food bank when possible.
  • A portion of the energy used to make Nature’s Path cereals come from “Green Certificates” — which come from 100% new green electricity generated in B.C.
  • The company’s EnviroKidz EnviroFund has raised nearly $1 Million for endangered species and environments since the launch of the EnviroKidz brand.
  • The company is independent: Thus far it’s been a family company from the ground up. The company states, “We haven’t “sold out”—and we don’t intend to.”
  • The company website is jammed packed with educational materials about organics, the company, their products and more.
  • Easy to find products which does make a difference – both my local organic-minded stores and mainstream grocers carry Nature’s Path products. They offer an easy to use online search system to find a Nature’s Path retailer near you. They also have a new (and handy) online shop.
  • Reasonably priced products are the norm. I’ve been buying Nature’s Path for years and it’s usually well-priced. You can also sign up for the Nature’s Path newsletter to get specials discounts and money saving offers.

COMPANY CONS:

Well, as always I looked hard for some company cons – but literally found almost none…

  • I’d like to see their toaster pastries inner packaging somehow go recyclable; because I’m not sure that it is, and my son loves their toaster pastries.
  • Their rice bars are not appealing to most kids I’ve met – maybe it’s the kids I know but thus far when I’ve handed out their Crispy Rice Bars, the kids just don’t love them and won’t eat them.
  • While many of their products are well-priced their flax cereals, which are loved around here can be costly. However, most cereal nowadays is way expensive, even when not organic, so… ? What are ya gonna do?


OVERALL SCORE:

5 out of 5 little trees. As noted I looked around to see if this company had any weird hidden cons, but this company’s just on top of stuff. To learn more about their sustainability record check out their Do Good page. This is a great company to buy from if you want to eat organic and keep your sustainability ethics in check.

LEARN MORE:

See my green product rating system and green product rating criteria or read more green product reviews.

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