The development of the lily is in our genes.
Experimenting with the possibilities
Mr. Klaas de Jong a pioneer in the field of lilies in the Netherlands
Klaas de Jong (1925-2007) was the founder of today’s company, De Jong Lelies. He was a pioneer, experimenting with the cultivation of lilies in the Netherlands in the 1960s. Growing, harvesting, treating, storing, forcing, … such knowledge was not yet available; he had to discover it all for himself.
Import from Oregon
De Jong brought back the product from Japan and America. From Andijk he travelled to Gresham where he met lily expert Jan de Graaff of the Oregon Bulb Farm. This visit led to a successful partnership: the exclusive import of lily bulbs from Oregon to the Netherlands. From Andijk, these bulbs were sold and distributed to forcers in the Netherlands, and later to other countries across Europe as well.
In the meantime, De Jong was also busy growing bulbs and setting up his own breeding programme. ‘Mona’, ‘Sarina’ and ‘Lorina’ are among his best-know cultivars. From that moment on, he did what De Jong Lelies still does today: breeding, growing, storing and the international trading of high-quality lily bulbs.
In the absence of a successor, the De Jong family transferred the company to two employees in 1987. As the company’s commercial and technical directors, Marcel Kroezen and Wijnand van der Kooij had the honour of further developing the organisation. Investments were made in new refrigeration units, greenhouses, a laboratory, and packing and processing lines. In 1995, cultivation took hold in New Zealand and the establishment of De Jong Lelies Australië Pty. Ltd. followed in 2003.
The company continued to grow and a second location was established in Andijk in 2011. Three years later, on 1 January 2014, the takeover of Ruiter Bloembollen followed, which constituted an important step in the further professionalisation of our cultivation activities..
Today’s management board
Shortly thereafter, on 5 January 2014, Marcel Kroezen passed away. He did a great deal towards shaping today’s company, De Jong Lelies. The position of commercial director fell to Michiel Ruiter. Together with Wijnand van der Kooij and his son Remco van der Kooij, they make up Today’s management board of De Jong Lelies today.
De Jong Lelies
“With 1,700 solar panels, we can meet a significant share of our energy requirements in a sustainable manner.”
At De Jong Lelies, caring for the product and the environment is a logical combination. Saving energy is an important theme in this context. In autumn 2018, we invested in 1,700 solar panels for one of our locations. This means that we are now largely self-sufficient in relation to our energy needs.
The most recent investment took the form of expanding and renovating our greenhouse complex. Operating a total of 5,700 m2 of greenhouse space, all our activities can now be carried out under a single roof: breeding, testing and showing.
Thanks to our employees!
Last but not least, we continuously invest in our employees. They are the strength of our organisation. Their professionalism, curiosity, knowledge, care and dedication determine the success of De Jong Lelies and ensure that we can continuously innovate and improve our position in the international lily market.