In 1987, Louis Greindl, then active in the forestry sector, founded a company whose purpose was the distribution of forest seedlings and seeds. The Greencap company was born!
In 1989, following a request from a French friend who was looking for Christmas trees, the company bought, harvested and shipped its first Christmas trees.
In the spring of 1990, in the Belgian Ardennes, it planted its first hectare of Christmas trees by hand.
By 1992, the company was cultivating 30 hectares and was already marketing more than 100,000 Christmas trees through a network of wholesalers and DIY store chains. That year, Louis Greindl joined forces with some of his close friends by selling them shares to strengthen the capital and transform the company into a public limited company.
In order to meet an increasingly sophisticated demand for logistics, in 1998 a first platform was built in Ochamps (Libin – Belgium) and the company distributed 250,000 trees.
In 2001, Greencap acquired 100% of the shares of CERIC SARL (a French company specialised in the distribution of top-of-the-range trees in garden centres).
During all these years, the production has been growing steadily around Libin to reach, in 2005, about 300 hectares of production. That same year, a 200-hectare farm, located in Brittany (Finistère) and belonging to a Danish company, was purchased. Turnover doubles in one year.
Between 2005 and 2010, both in France and Belgium, production continues to increase. And to do so, the company devotes 100% of its profits to new investments in land and plantations as well as in new high-performance equipment.
In 2009, Greencap bought the Papine site from Idelux, with a surface area of around 40 hectares, and began construction work on the platform and the current offices.
Between 2010 and 2012, after a trial period of diversification into ornamental horticulture, Greencap is refocusing its activity 100% on the Christmas tree. Until 2015, the area under cultivation will continue to grow and new markets will be conquered.
In 2015, Louis Greindl decided to set up his succession in the company and, after acquiring 100% of the shares, organised a partial management buy-out with the two French and Belgian managers, Gildas le Foll and Gérald de Wouters. The two managers will take over 66% of the group’s shareholdings. The objective set by the management is to achieve a growth of 5%, taking into account the personnel employed, the cultivated areas and the turnover. At the same time, Greencap signed an agreement with Royal-Ardenne Nurseries to take over the management and sale of their entire stock. This represents an area of 600 hectares to be added to the 1,000 hectares already under cultivation in France and Belgium.
In France, in 2017, an agreement to buy back the land and stock from Greenteam France is signed and Greencap is expanding by a further 200 hectares in Brittany.
In order to sell its production, the team is joined by a new sales team.
To date, the company cultivates more or less 2000 hectares between France and Belgium, maintains a stock of (10,000,000 trees) and sells about 1,000,000 Christmas trees per season. The company owns 60% of the land it cultivates.