Aad Prins: 80-year-young specialist in virus- and disease-free propagation
What if Grandpa Prins hadn’t had to wait at the Anna Paulowna station in 1937, on the way back from The Hague? This is a tantalizing question in the 80-year history of Aad Prins, because the company owes its existence to that coincidental interruption in his rail journey from the province of Friesland. This interruption meant that he had to wait for the next train. He takes a peek into the café across the way, where a public auction happens to be in progress. The lot: five hectares of land in Breezand, complete with house and barn. The ’s-Gravenzande resident places the winning bid: 63,000 guilders.
The company is intended for his son Huib, who moves to the province of Noord-Holland when he’s 18 years old. The rest is history. Huib grows flower bulbs there until 1983, when his son Aad enters the business. He continues forcing bulbs for another four years, but then sees new opportunities for the company.
Turns out the Westland genes are still alive and well in Noord-Holland: the first greenhouse appears on the land in Breezand, 800 square metres in size. But Aad Prins’ glass empire quickly expands. The greenhouses are intended for calla bulbs and for propagating virus-free starter material for third parties.
22,000 square metres are then constructed in two stages, in 2009 and 2012. Then Aad Prins is mainly active in calla cultivation and in the propagation of virus- and disease-free starter stock for flower bulb production. The calla business is sold in 2016. From that moment on, the company is known as a specialist in the propagation of virus- and disease-free starter material for flower bulb production, specifically tissue cultures.