04 Nov 2019

Rijk Zwaan tops Hillenraad500+ ranking: “Undeniably a world-class Dutch company”

“Rijk Zwaan’s R&D train continues to hurtle down the tracks because the growing world population is in urgent need of new varieties, new seeds and even better products. It is undeniably a world-class Dutch company,” states the Hillenraad jury report. Rijk Zwaan has secured the number-one spot in this year’s Hillenraad500+ ranking of leading Dutch companies in the horticultural sector. Marco van Leeuwen, one of Rijk Zwaan’s directors, accepted the prestigious prize during the Hortigala event held at the Ridderzaal in the Hague on Friday, 1 November.

Besides recognising Rijk Zwaan’s ongoing investment in research and development, the members of the Hillenraad jury were impressed by the company’s focus on collaboration. It is working to build even stronger relationships with growers and other businesses by involving them more closely in the value chain. One good example of this is the Retail Center in Berlin, which gives retailers and growers insights into consumer preferences and product performance, according to the Hillenraad report. Working together is firmly anchored in the family-owned company’s culture.

An active part of society

Marco van Leeuwen accepted the prestigious prize on behalf of the company: “At Rijk Zwaan, we can be proud of achieving this position in the Hillenraad500+. It’s thanks of course to the efforts of all our colleagues worldwide. Moreover, the collaboration with companies, social organisations and governments is of essential importance in safeguarding our ‘licence to operate’. People expect companies to play an active part in society.”

Retaining talent

“Offering employees an enjoyable and long-term job is embedded in our company culture,” said Marco van Leeuwen. “We give them room to work on continuously nurturing their talents and own initiative. This motivates our people and boosts our company’s innovative strength. By making use of state-of-the-art technologies and also by working together in multidisciplinary teams, we can keep developing vegetable varieties that meet the expectations of society today.”

About the Hillenraad500+

The Hillenraad500+ is a ranking of Dutch horticultural companies that generate more than €500 million in annual turnover or that employ more than 1,000 people in the Netherlands. Hillenraad considers aspects including company strategy, market position, innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR).