12 Jul 2013

Late Comvita founder praised

1:15 pm on 12 July 2013

Beekeepers say Claude Stratford, the founder of the Comvita honey products company, who died on Wednesday at the age of 102, led the way in creating a worldwide demand for New Zealand honey products.

He founded Comvita in 1974 when he was 64 - and now it is a $100 million company.

Mr Stratford received the Queens Service Medal in 1999 for services to the community and won the Ernst & Young 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year at the age of 95.

North Canterbury Federated Farmers bee section chair Barry Hantz said beekeepers throughout New Zealand owe a debt of thanks to Mr Stratford's pioneering energy and resourcefulness.