On 2 April 1973 the cooperative society Agrico was founded in Emmeloord. The new cooperative was formed by the merger of:
  • Groninger Pootaardappel- en Zaaizaadverkoopbureau 'PZVB'
  • Coöperatieve Drentse Telersvereniging G.A. 'DTV'
  • Coöperatieve Producenten- en Handelsvereniging voor Akkerbouwgewassen G.A. 'Zuiderzeepolders'
Powerful position
This merger soon appeared to be an excellent move. The costs and turnoverratio became healthier, variety breeding was more successful and the new Agrico conquered a powerful position on national and international markets. In 1974 the new cooperative, together with Zuid-West-Nederland, established the sales organisation Agrico-Holland. This made Agrico the leading organisation in the marketing of seed potatoes and ware potatoes.

The growers' association Solana was established in 1973. Since then, the board of Solana has been an important advisor and negotiating partner for the boards of Agrico and Agrico Research.
Four years after Agrico was founded and when the pool system for potatoes seemed to be successful, the organisation decided to expand its sphere of activity into growing and marketing onions. Agrico decided to start cautiously, and extended an existing production hall first. An onion grading and packing line were developed in this hall. The introduction of this new line of business was a success. Agrico purchased more land next to the existing premises and constructed a new hall. Eleven years later, in 1988, Agrico decided to stop these activates, as processing the onions entailed ever increasing costs and the profit margins were falling. As, in the meantime, Agrico’s potato grading company CAB and Agrico’s potato peeling company VITA continued to grow, they expanded their activities in the premises vacated by the onion division.
In around 1980, Agrico started to explore the Russian market by participating in a number of official trading missions. In 1988 Agrico successfully sold three projects near Moscow. As well as seed potatoes, the Russian farmers also bought machines from Agrico. Agrico employees, assisted by young Agrico growers, helped and supervised their Russian colleagues in growing potatoes. The project formula was a triumph and in the early 1990s on some occasions more than sixty Agrico growers were sent to Russia in the space of a few weeks.
1989 Agrico acquired shares in the potato trading company Leo de Kock & Zonen B.V. in Purmerend. The company specialises in freshly packed potatoes. In 2003, Leo de Kock invested in renovation and expansion. Now, in 2010, the company has a modern washing and packing station with fully computer controlled machines. The potatoes are processed in small daily quantities, so that consumers can always enjoy super fresh potatoes. The potatoes are sold to the retail trade, wholesale trade and retail organisations.
1994 Agrico merged with Wolf&Wolf. The contribution of seed potato company Wolf&Wolf allowed Agrico to consolidate its position as the leading seed potato supplier on the global market. Agrico was already the largest seed potato trader before the merger with Wolf&Wolf, but with Wolf Wolf, Agrico grew from a 25% to a 35% market share in the Netherlands.
1994 Agrico set foot on the North American market with the establishment of CanAgrico. In 2004, the activities of CanAgrico were transferred to Parkland Seed Potatoes Ltd. in the Canadian Lacombe, Alberta. Parkland had already proved to be a constant factor in the marketing of seed potatoes. Since 2004 the potato acreage is still increasing.
In 1995, the decision was taken to close the sales office of Agrico France S.A.R.L. To serve the French market, Agrico decided to take a participating interest in the renowned French company S.A. Desmazières in Arras. At that time, the company had already been a trusted trading partner of Agrico for many years.
In 1998 Agrico took over the seed potato growing and marketing activities from a business contact in the UK. Agrico incorporated these activities into its existing Agrico UK activities and combined them all into Agrico UK Ltd. This wholly owned Agrico subsidiary is located in Castleton, Scotland.
CêlaVíta B.V. in Wezep is a processor that produces chilled potato products for the retail and foodservice sector. The company was started up 1967 to explore and develop new markets. In 1970, Agrico acquired the rest of the shares. As part of Agrico, CêlaVíta developed into a household name in the Netherlands over the years.

However, in 2004 Agrico critically scrutinised its own subsidiaries, the interrelationship of the various divisions and the renewal of the organisation structure at management level.

This resulted in a decision to sell its shares in CêlaVíta and to concentrate on its original, core activities: growing and marketing seed potatoes and ware potatoes. In August 2005, Agrico sold its shares in processor CêlaVíta B.V.
Agrico Polska grows and markets varieties of Agrico seed potatoes cultivated in Poland. The company also imports seed potatoes from the Netherlands. In the years following its inception, the company saw steady growth and Agrico Polska gained a more important market share in Poland.
To increase the involvement of young growers in Agrico and to create a sounding board for the organisation, Agrico launched a Youth Council in 2008. This gave Agrico an official platform which young growers and the board a possibility to exchange ideas about the strategy and service provision.

After the successful first edition of the Agrico Day of the Youth on 22 May 2008, no fewer than 17 young farmers applied to join the Youth Council. On 27 June 2008, the supervisory board appointed the members of the very first Agrico Youth Council.
September 2009, Agrico celebrated the opening of the new premises of Agrico Research in festive style. The research centre, which started back in 1959, was bursting out of its seams due to a huge increase in its activities and number of employees. The construction project created more office space and an extra storey. Besides the office and laboratory, Agrico Research also has a greenhouse complex covering 2000 m2 and 96 hectares of agricultural land. It employs a total of 23 people.
Over the years the process of globalisation continued unabated. Agrico also started gaining a foothold on markets in the north of Europe. To strengthen its presence in Sweden and Finland, Agrico and its Swedish partner Lantmännen Lantbruk started Agrico Nordic in 2009. The company trials, introduces, grows and markets Agrico varieties and imports Dutch grown seed potatoes.
The demand for organic potatoes is ever increasing. Agrico reacted to this pattern by developing and growing organic seed potatoes and ware potatoes. Under the brand name Bioselect, Agrico is the major supplier of organic seed potatoes and ware potatoes globally. In 2009, subsidiary Leo de Kock & Zonen B.V. started constructing a new hall on the plot adjacent to their current premises in Purmerend. This new building houses a completely separate washing and packing line for organic potato products. The company also invested in a ‘care-zone’ where convenience products are processed. Building was completed in 2010.