Agroplant has a rich history, dating back to 1924. In that year, Klaas Molenaar set up his company trading vegetables and potatoes as well as a sauerkraut factory called the ‘Blikken Trommel’ (Tin Drum). His daughter, Martha (1895), married Jan van der Lee. Together, they expanded the trading company to include exports to various countries within Europe. Between 1930 and 1960, the company was one of the largest exporters of fresh vegetables in the Netherlands, with its own exports office in Rotterdam. This was later continued by, among others, Disselkoen in De Lier and Van Rijn in ‘s-Gravenzande.
Jan and Martha had nine children. The family company was continued by their sons Adriaan and Jan. When his brother started a horticultural company in 1949, Adriaan stayed on as the only partner. From Medemblik, he traded at all auctions with worldwide exports overseas in cabbages, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. In 1969, he passed away suddenly at the young age of fifty. His son, Jan van der Lee, who was 24 at the time, continued the business with his mother Doortje and wife Mart. After a short collaboration with Begro, in 1972 he continued independently and focused the trading company mainly on seed potatoes, ware potatoes and onions.
Proud fourth generation
Over recent decades, Jan and Mart have weathered many storms in the trade world. Over the years there have also been many collaborative relationships with different partners. When their three sons saw their future in the business, the family company was renamed Agroplant Holland B.V. Since 2014, Jan junior, Bram and Joris van der Lee have been managing the company. Together, they form the proud fourth generation within the family, active in potato trading. Of course a lot has changed over more than ninety years. However, this does not apply to the family’s old-fashioned, characteristic standards and values.
Exports around the world
Over the past decades, Agroplant has developed to become an internationally operational company, with trade in seed potatoes the main activity and exports to more than fifty countries around the world. Agroplant is also active in the trade of ware potatoes. The company operates its own distribution programme, through which the customer is always provided with a variety that suits their cultivation. The specialists at Agroplant travel all over the world to provide their customers with customised advice. More than 60,000 tonnes of seed potatoes were sold last season.
Actrice, Cereza, Picobello, Messi, Margarita, Metro and Dido are the seven successful ‘sisters’ among the potato family. These potatoes are suitable for sale in various markets. The Agroplant cold store and freezer has its own packing station and loading/storage capacity. Around 200 farmers have an exclusive production contract, with Agroplant monitoring more than 1,500 ha of seed potatoes through its own field sales staff throughout the Netherlands.
An eye for an excellent potato, it runs in the family!