The one hundred most prominent companies in the horticulture industry

The Hillenraad100 provides an overview of the 100 leading companies in the knowledge and capital-intensive greenhouse and horticulture industries. The list paints a picture of the full cluster, divided into seven segments. Ever since 2003, the Hillenraad100 has been the monitor when it comes to the developments in the Dutch horticulture industry. The Hillenraad100 observes, interprets and looks ahead.

Only 1% of the companies in the Dutch horticulture industry make it into the Hillenraad100. A listing in the Hillenraad100 is an acknowledgement of leading entrepreneurship. These companies show vision, daring and entrepreneurship, and are a guiding light to the sector. The Hortigala of the Year, during which the new listings are announced, is an important ‘photo opportunity’ for the horticulture industry.

The Hillenraad100 research team analyses the companies’ performances on the basis of a unique and proprietary business model that is continuously adapted. We make choices in what we consider to be important developments for the future and we assess how companies anticipate them. An Committee of Experts of professionals assists us in this process.

Criteria and model

Balancing the scales: the Hillenraad100 model

Hillenraad100 assesses the companies on the basis of strategy, market position, organisational performance, innovation and corporate social responsibility. The business model entails a wider scope and assesses 19 factors in total.

The Hillenraad100 is an open competition. Any company complying with the admittance criteria can register and compete for a listing. A precondition is that the company’s main activity must be exercised within the horticulture industry in the Netherlands, whereby its Dutch activities must represent a substantial part of its total business activities. Companies must have also been in business for at least five years and in assessing this factor, the Hillenraad100 bases its judgement on collective group activities; sister companies are not eligible for a separate listing. Finally, sector and trade organisations, as well as generic service providers (i.e. banks, insurance companies or accountants), are excluded from the list.

Hillenraad itself is looking for nominees as well, and bases its assessments on information from public sources, press releases, databanks for business information, and, of course, the data submitted by the companies themselves. Our goal is to assess and rank the companies in a positive, but critical manner.

Committee of Experts

Technical analysis and market sentiment

In addition to the research conducted by Hillenraad Partners, the value of the Hillenraad100 is in no small part due to the contribution of the Committee of Experts. Based on their specific areas of expertise, these wonderfully well-informed specialists assess the selected businesses. They not only employ technical analyses, but also add the market sentiment, as though the company was quoted on the stock market.

The Committee of Experts has been broadly composed. Thanks to their experience, contacts and inside information, the members of the Committee of Experts are able to properly evaluate the various nominated businesses. The knowledge and expertise of the Committee of Experts is a valuable addition to all the other resources employed by the Hillenraad100.

The 2019 Committee of Experts

  • Niels Louwaars (Managing Director of Plantum)
  • Cees Uitbeijerse (Accountant, horticulture specialist for BDO Accountants & Adviseurs)
  • Silke Hemming (Research Team Lead Greenhouse Technology at Wageningen University & Research)
  • Harm Maters (Chairman of AVAG)
  • Martien Penning (Founder Hillenraad100)
  • Jan van den Heuvel (Entrepreneur, founder of Hagé)
  • Ben Verwaayen (Chairman of the Hillenraad100 Committee of Experts, former CEO of, among others, Alcatel-Lucent and British Telecom, partner of Keen Venture Partners)
  • Gert Mulder (Director of GroentenFruit Huis)
  • Stephan Persoon (Director Agium Finance & Control)
  • Arnold Hordijk (Administrator, Adviser and Supervisory Director)
  • Leon Bol (Director-Owner Newgreen BV)
  • Lars Boellaard (Managing partner & notary at Westland Partners)
  • Sjaak van der Tak (not in photo) (Chairman of Glastuinbouw Nederland)


In the sights of the horticulture industry

Receive the colour photograph of the horticulture industry

The 2019 edition of the Hillenraad100 magazine was published on 1 November 2019. You can order a copy of the 2019 edition with your data printed on it. A copy of the magazine costs €15 plus €5 for shipping and handling. The magazine will be sent to you by post with the invoice enclosed.

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Hortigala 2019

On Friday, November 1, the winner of the Hillenraad100 – 2019 edition was announced during the Hortigala of the Year in the Ridderzaal in The Hague. To the great surprise of the more than two hundred attendees from the entire horticultural sector, KUBO Group took to the podium as the new number one. The evening, which was opened by Minister Carola Schouten, had more surprises. The list this year has no fewer than 13 newcomers, the top 10 has been considerably shaken up and the 500+ outside category now has ten large companies.

“The major changes in this year’s Hillenraad100 show which horticultural companies are successful in a rapidly changing world and which companies are clearly looking for a solid, international position,” Martien Penning of Hillenraad said. Based on an extensive evaluation model, grading by the Peer Group and the vision and opinion of the Expert Committee, Kubo Group emerged as the overall winner of the Hillenraad100 competition and also captured the Technology Company of the Year 2019 theme prize. ‘Kubo Group is a star player in high-quality greenhouse technology. It is responding extremely well to international demand for production under controlled conditions, where both technology and its operational application are central, ” was the verdict about this winner. During the Hortigala of the Year, a number of other companies also received a prestigious prize in various categories.

Call to action
Chair of the Expert Committee, Ben Verwaayen, gave a glowing speech in which he had a clear message for the directors, shareholders and policy makers present. 

Future-oriented and international
The Hillenraad100 – 2019 edition shows that the leading Dutch horticultural companies are operating internationally, continuously innovating and are getting ever closer to their customers. This applies in particular to Vreugdenhil-Klugt Combinatie, which was consequently named the Most Forward-Looking Enterprise of the Year 2019, and Nature’s Pride, which can justifiably call itself International Company of the Year 2019. The reason for their accolades: “Companies like these understand very well what successful business is all about, delivering customer value and constant innovation are thus a benchmark for the entire horticultural cluster.” There was also praise for Royal Brinkman, which was named Family Business of the Year 2019. “This family business delivers world-class performance in every respect,” can be read in the Hillenraad100 magazine, which was under strict embargo until Friday 1 November. In the outside category 500+ of large companies, Rijk Zwaan was once again the best: “Undisputedly a Dutch company of world class.”

As usual, the new Hillenraad100 magazine was also published this year at the Hortigala of the Year. This not only shows how much the Top100 list has been shaken up, it also contains interviews with external experts and gives a broad picture of the international development of the Dutch horticultural sector. Together, the companies documented account for an annual turnover of € 21.6 billion, a great deal of employment and, above all, an enormous contribution to a green living environment and safe, healthy and tasty food for a world that requires sustainable innovation. This year, the Hillenraad100 again shows the best and brightest in the horticultural sector, with technology as the major flavour in this edition. 

The new Hillenraad100 can be obtained free of charge from the Hillenraad stand at booth 20.1 during the Royal FloraHolland Trade Fair being held from 6 to 8 November. The magazine can also be ordered from hillenraad100.nl

Entrepreneurs do not wait until tomorrow

De Hillenraad100 is an open competition

To be listed in the Hillenraad100, five admittance criteria apply. Do you think that you have a good chance to be listed in the Hillenraad100? Then complete the registration form. Once we have received your form, you will be included in the preliminary studies. Your application could possibly lead to inclusion in the Hillenraad100.

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