Comvita® Celebrates!

Giving Back Reaps Rewards - New Zealand Natural Health Innovator Turns 100.


Queens Service Medal winner, philanthropist and founder of natural health products company, Comvita®, Claude Stratford celebrated his 100th birthday on the 18th of August.

Claude Stratford is an outstanding New Zealander who has led natural health innovation at the helm of a business that today turns over $85 million a year and exports to 14 countries around the world.

Claude founded Comvita® in 1974, at the age of 64, by making and selling a range of bee products from the basement in his home in Paengaroa (Bay of Plenty).  At the age of 95 he was a finalist in the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Claude owned his first beehive in 1921 at age 11 and his life-long affinity with bee products has contributed to numerous innovations in natural health science.  Claude has spent his life bringing the health benefits offered by Nature to people in New Zealand and around the world.

Awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1999 for his service to the community, Claude continues to support philanthropic projects in New Zealand and overseas, through his charitable trust.

Claude's values and the heritage of his commitment to product quality and purity is still the cornerstone of Comvita® today, says CEO Brett Hewlett.

“Claude is an inspiration to the people at Comvita® and we continue to support philanthropic projects in New Zealand and overseas, in keeping with his philosophy that business should give back to the community.”

Comvita® Founder, Claude Stratford’s Top 10 Tips for Living Well:
  • A tablespoon of bee pollen every day (Claude has been doing this since 1936 when he was 26)
  • A daily teaspoon of Comvita® Manuka honey and a dose of Comvita® Olive Leaf Extract (15 ml), two Omega 3 capsules (fish oil) and a multivitamin tablet.
  • Persistence and at times - dogged determination - "if at first you don't succeed then try, try, try again"!!
  • A drive to help others is a strong motivator (a primary reason for developing Comvita® was so Claude could help people).
  • An unswerving belief in the power of nature to provide a source of healing for people.  Claude has always preferred an holistic approach to health.
  • Being prepared to dream big dreams and treat any setbacks along the way as merely challenges that can be overcome.
  • Accepting people as they are and believing the best of them.
  • Generosity of spirit.
  • Faith and prayer.
  • Read widely, keep up with the latest information about the things that interest you and have an open mind.