Practising what the company preaches

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The New Zealand Herald reports Sanitarium’s boss in New Zealand likes to practise what his company preaches.

General manager Pierre van Heerden is a keen runner completing more than 80 marathons and ultra-marathons. The South African-born 52-year-old has been an Adventist all his life. He says Adventist principles go hand-in-hand with business.

A lot of companies look at us and say, boy, how can you afford to close down over that period and not operate seven days a week?

Sanitarium, the number one cereal firm owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church more than a century after its founding, has a philosophy based on healthy living and Christian principles.

The Herald also notes that in keeping with how Adventists celebrate Sabbath (sunset on Friday until dusk on Saturday) Sanitarium’s manufacturing facilities are also shut down over the same period each week.

“A lot of companies look at us and say, boy, how can you afford to close down over that period and not operate seven days a week?’ But that is our principle. We feel blessed by that.” Van Heerden told the Herald.

Van Heerden became general manager of the company 3 years ago after working in various positions in Sanitarium’s Australian wing.

According to the Herald, he considers himself a “Tri-Nations citizen” and has become an All Blacks supporter since his arrival in New Zealand. Asked why he no longer supports the Springboks, Van Heerden said: “South Africa isn’t the country I grew up in any more. If I go back there I feel like a foreigner. But some things are better, because if you look at the history of apartheid and everything that was a horrendous era to go through.” Van Heerden lives on the North Shore with his wife, Galina, and has four children.

 
CALL ME KIWI: Pierre Van Heerden has given up supporting the Springboks and is now an All Blacks fan [Credit: DEAN PURCELL, New Zealand Herald].  
 
Sanitarium’s Kids TRYatholon events are very popular in both NZ and Australia [credit kzone.com.au].  
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