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Hillenraad accolades the 100 best performing Dutch hort companies

On Friday, 3 November, the 15th edition of the annual Hortigala was held in the Rivièra Hall at Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo. The traditional highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Hillenraad100. As surprising new leader of the list, Koppert Biological Systems was invited onto the stage. For the first time in its 50 years of existence, this business beat Enza Zaden and Nature’s Pride into second and third place respectively. The 500+ business category also has a new number one: Rijk Zwaan. There were also awards for the best Challenging Concept 2017, the Family Business of the Year and the Sustainability Prize.

Fully in line with this year’s theme (‘Eat or be eaten’), the Rivièra Hall at Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo was chosen as the event’s venue. Martien Penning, initiator of the Hillenraad100, explained: ‘Under the influence of internationalisation and digitisation, businesses in the horticulture industry are being driven towards one of two possible survival strategies: either become a very strong powerhouse or win an essential position in the global network as a nodal firm.’ This theme was further illustrated by the inspirational keynote given by wildlife veterinarian Martine van Zijll Langhout.

New model, new ranking
A completely new model was used this year to compile the Hillenraad100 and as a result, Koppert Biological Systems and Rijk Zwaan emerged as leading businesses in the Hillenraad100 and the 500+ category respectively. The remainder of the new Top 10 of the Hillenraad100 in 2017 is as follows: Enza Zaden (2), Nature’s Pride (3), Agro Care (4), Anthura (5), Beekenkamp Groep (6), Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds (7), Dümmen Orange (8), Ridder-HortiMaX (9) and Florensis (10). The new number 100 is Dijk van Dijk, which attracted attention through its marketing and product innovations. Martien Penning expects the new model to produce increasingly fast ascents and declines in the coming years. As co-host of the Hortigala, Royal FloraHolland’s Lucas Vos discussed the great value of this annual snapshot: ‘Royal FloraHolland supports the Hillenraad by identifying and acknowledging good to excellent entrepreneurship in the horticulture and greenhouse horticulture industry.’

Challenging Concepts, Sustainability Prize and Family Business of the Year
This year, the Hillenraad100 has devoted extra attention to Challenging Concepts. Which ideas, technologies, services or other innovations can shake up the existing markets? From the three Challenging Concepts of 2017, HortiKey was declared to be potentially the most challenging. The Sustainability Prize was presented by Hortigala partner Rabobank and was awarded to Ter Laak Orchids. The business Heemskerk Fresh & Easy received the title of Family Business of the Year from BDO, the co-sponsor of the Hortigala.

The new Hillenraad100 can be obtained free of charge from the Hillenraad stand at the FloraHolland House during the Royal FloraHolland Trade Fair being held from 8 to 10 November. The magazine can also be ordered from

For more information:
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