Beeswax and balderdash – Comvita founder Claude Stratford has seen his share of both, but he credits his longevity to a regular dose of bee pollen and manuka honey.
Today he turns 102, just a month after the company he founded in 1974 reached $102 million in annual sales.
Comvita founder Claude Stratford and co-founder Alan Bougen.
Little did he know when he got his first beehive at the age of 11 it was the beginning of a life-long association with beekeeping and belief in honey’s health-giving properties that would grow to a global exporting business.
Convinced of the health benefits of bee pollen, he has taken a tablespoon every day since the age of 26.
At the age of 64 he went on to setup Comvita, making and selling a unique range of health products from the basement in his home in Paengaroa.
Claude was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1999 for his service to the community, before being named a finalist in the national Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005, at the age of 95.
Comvita CEO Brett Hewlett says Claude’s pioneering spirit, his humanitarian values and his commitment to product quality and purity remain the cornerstone of Comvita.
“Claude has spent his life bringing the health benefits offered by nature to people in New Zealand and around the world. He continues to be an inspiration to Comvita staff, all over the world.”
Along with daily doses of bee pollen, manuka honey and olive leaf extract, some of Claude’s other tips for a long and healthy life include dogged determination, being motivated to help others, having a generous spirit and big dreams, believing the best in people, taking a holistic approach to health and having faith.
WIN WITH THE SUN
The Weekend Sun has two Comvita prize packs to the value of $118 each to give away to lucky readers who can tell us which year Claude Stratford and Alan Bougen co-founded Comvita.
Enter online at www.sunlive.co.nz under the Competitions section.
Entries must be received before August 21.