When world peace was re- established in 1945, two young Hollanders were finally able to realise a long cherished dream – to settle in South Africa and grow fine flower bulbs.
Floor Barnhoorn and Harry de Leeuw were self-made men. Both had left school at the age of 14 to earn their livings by selling bulbs for growers. Their 18 hour days finished with evening classes in English and bookkeeping. Keen, alert and full of drive, they brought their flower bulb expertise and newly acquired language and accounting skills to South Africa in 1946 and established the Company that is today known as Hadeco®.
They first planted fast growing gladioli for cut flowers and corms – to generate some much needed cash flow, before branching out into other crops. The early days were not easy. The first bulb store was a secondhand army tent and staff sometimes had to wait patiently for their wages.
Floor looked after production and the nursery, while Harry travelled the country, towing an old caravan; gradually developing a market for flower bulbs, which were virtually unknown at the time in South Africa.
Floor and Harry identified Hippeastrum as an important crop and concentrated much effort on hybridising vigorous cultivars specifically for potting. The hybrids they produced were soon recognised worldwide as exceptional.
From these humble beginnings
Hadeco® has grown into one of the largest flower bulb growers in the world, without losing sight of the original partners’ passion for excellence, reliability of supply and genuine concern for customer satisfaction. These values are an integral part of Hadeco’s culture.
Managed today by direct descendants of founder Floor Barnhoorn, Hadeco® is an international leader in the breeding, raising, growing and worldwide distribution of flower bulbs, fresh cut flowers and laboratory- in- vitro produced plant material.
We grow over 50 different kinds of bulbs and many cut flower lines. Total own production from 400 hectares (1000 acres) under intensive cultivation produces some 100 million bulbs and 50 million flower stems for sale per annum. This range of products is delivered to over 60 countries globally.
To ensure optimum production, Hadeco® owns and operates 7 farms situated at different altitudes, giving a range of climates from sub-tropical to cool temperate, with soil types from heavy red loams to light sand. Hadeco® employs a permanent staff compliment of some 1,000 people which includes around 50 highly skilled experts.