The idea of setting up a fruit company in Hungary emerged during a trade mission in West-Hungary, organized by the Chamber of Commerce Rivierenland in 1994. Thirty entrepreneurs from the region participated in the mission, among others Jan van Kessel, at that time vice-president of the same Chamber of Commerce. Due to his expertise and contacts built up during realization of buildings for fruit growers and fruit auctions in the Betuwe region in the Netherlands, his heart was already in the fruit production. Based on his personal vision on matters and people and on his passion developed for fruit growing, he began to establish a company in Hungary in 1995. It was, and still is led by a Dutch manager. Jan van Kessel was present at least once a month. Because such a short time after the political turn in Hungary it was necessary to be tenacious, diplomatic and have people skills to find the way in the labyrinth of bureaucracy.

The company was prospering: after five years it fulfilled 10% of the demand for apples in Hungary. Until that time Almakúti Kft. was the only big Dutch agricultural company in Hungary, which was partly caused by the problems surrounding possession of land and the necessity of a considerable initial capital. The success of the company was also remarked in Hungary, specifically in the Province Zala. Therefore on September 8, 2000 the Province Zala expressed its honour to Jan van Kessel by giving him the medal of the Arm of Province Zala. The president of the Council of Province, Mr. László Varga, wished to declare herewith his acknowledgement and thanks for his exemplary activities in the region Tátika-Rezi in the field of growing and marketing fruit and for the creation of a European Hungarian company with modern, intensive apple production and ULO cold storage technology.

On 17 July, 2008 Jan van Kessel, mentor and visionary of Almakúti Kft. suddenly dies at the age of 62. An enormous miss. What remains, is a magnificent, modern company, ready for the future, with the memorable sayings and visions of the establisher in our thoughts, which will live on for a long time by the management and the staff.