In 1989 Stephen was lucky enough to study tropical animal health at Edinburgh university. Here he specialised in camel production and was intrigued by the medicinal properties of camels milk much loved by the Arab world. Camels are raced just like horses in such parts of the world.
In 1990 Stephen moved for three years to the remote island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Here he trained local vets in treating their cattle, ponies and dogs and attempted to help government services to think ‘from the farmer’s perspective’. He wrote an article on the relevance of traditional use of buffaloes to the people there and was very interested to learn of the rich traditions of herbal medicines on the island of java.
Sulawesi is famous for many unique animals and evolutionary anomalies such as the Babirusa pig and the pigmy Buffaloe Anoa. It is inhabited by the Bugis people who in ages past coined the phrase Boogyman because of the piracy many years ago.
In 1995 Stephen took a job with UNICEF in Khartoum Sudan. The work mainly entailed helping cattle herders in the South, but during his work he did conduct a research project in Darfur region. Here he toured the nomadic herding tribes in an effort to discover which herbs they used on their cattle, donkeys and dogs. Sudan is famous for the Bisenji dogs. Many a herbalist could be seen in the markets in Sudan and Stephen wrote an interesting paper on his findings which was presented at the first Ethnoveterinary conference near Mumbai, India.
At Bombay Stephen met many people involved in herbs and supplements from around the world. It was this meeting of minds that resulted in him starting Global Herbs a year later. He bought a house in Chichester and started his dream job of growing a supplement business. In the early days he also very much enjoyed working part time for a well know Equine practice in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
At the very start he converted his garage into an office and filled bottles of liquid on his garden table. His father, with a strong scientific background was fabled in his skill at measuring out these bottles very precisely!