Claude Stratford, the founder of natural health and beauty products company Comvita, passed away today aged 102.
A philanthropist and recipient of a Queens Service Medal for services to the community, Stratford founded Comvita in 1974, making and selling bee products from his basement. The company is now an export success story, generating more than $100 million in annual sales.
Comvita co-founder Alan Bougen says that, “Claude was an outstanding New Zealander and a pioneer in the health food industry in this country. He was a man of indomitable spirit and good humour, who has left a tremendous legacy for the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Stratford passed away this morning at his residence in Carter House, Te Puke.