At Qualitree, innovation and color combine with artistic curiosity to produce some of the finest plant products and distribution programs in the country.
We’re all about creative innovation based on our advanced and disciplined propagation processes. Our commitment to quality and ensuring our clients’ success is evident in the way we do business: from growing small plants to loading big trucks, we take pride in everything we do.
Qualitree believes in building and maintaining strong relationships with our clients and business partners. We’ve found that those relationships often give rise to the development of new ideas based on open communication, trust, respect, and hard work. That’s because our clients are more than just our clients: they’re also our collaborators, our teachers, our students and our friends. In fact, Qualitree is so committed to their success that we’re constantly looking for new ways to work together with them.
Qualitree sincerely appreciates the business that our clients bring to us. In turn, we’re committed to facing them the quality and innovation they deserve.
Founded in 1994 by partners Gary Neels and Tony Van Oort, Qualitree’s beginnings actually started on paper as part of the then-college-boys’ final assignment in their horticultural studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.
While still studying (and working part-time) the two young men decided to bring their dream to life and built a small 30 foot x 100 foot ground-to-ground greenhouse on Gary’s parents’ property. The greenhouse was filled that first winter with cuttings by working late nights and weekends and with volunteer labour provided by family and friends.
Two years later, the small company expanded into a larger greenhouse. Another expansion followed in 1997, with the enterprising partners purchasing five acres of property at Ferry Road in Rosedale, located near Chilliwack. It was at this time that Willem Neels, Gary’s dad, joined the company because, as Gary says with a smile, “Banks wouldn’t lend money to twenty-two-year olds with no assets and no cash.”
The five-acre purchase came with a ramshackle rental home and a dilapidated horse barn. The home was renovated into an office and the barn converted into a useable work base. Four greenhouses were constructed behind it.
“Those first few years, we were growing cut flowers at the Ferry Road property,” recalls Tony. “There were some bumps and bruises along the way but it wasn’t long before we were selling a lot of beautiful cut flowers under the Qualitree name.”
The partners soon realized that they wanted to move into the propagation business, meaning there was an immediate need for additional room for nursery production. The cut flowers portion of the business was phased out and replaced with propagation space.
In 1999, Henk Rozendaal joined the partnership and took on the role of sales and marketing. Henk’s strong ties to Europe and tireless pursuit of new opportunities combined with his love of meeting and connecting with people, was instrumental in getting access to many of the innovative products grown at Qualitree today.
After working at the nursery for two years, it became apparent that Gerrit Rozendaal, Henk’s son, could bring a new and much-needed set of skills to the management team. Gerrit joined the partnership in 2009 and, currently heads the finances and purchasing of the company.
Today, Qualitree closely resembles a Dutch-style nursery, with concrete driveways, rail systems for transportation and computer-controlled irrigation and climate control systems. The company now covers close to 100 acres of land with approximately 750,000 square feet (almost 17 acres) of greenhouse production area for its propagation and finished plant lines.
The company’s founding principles, those based on respect, hard work, innovation and collaboration, have carried through to this day and have helped ensure Qualitree’s success in an increasingly competitive market.
These are the values that form the foundation for our business. They guide us in how we work, how we live and how we conduct ourselves as members of the community. They are the filters through which we look at every decision to be made and they form the basis of our company’s foundation.