“Why do you need to saw planks into thin boards?”
The four young carpenters asked the representative of the “Yachin” company, who returned to place such an odd order, and suggested that he established a special factory for producing crates for storage of citrus fruits. With the establishment of the Ha’argaz factory in 1932, a long-lasting tradition of providing quality comprehensive solutions, custom-made to customer’s specifications, begun.
And so, on Thursday, the 18th of August 1932, Ha’argaz Company was founded and the first customer, “Yachin” company helped register the cooperative, that was established based on joint ownership of all its employees.
On the first of May 1933 the cornerstone of the first “Ha’argaz” factory was laid, on the corner of Solomon and Hagra Street in Tel Aviv, and three months later, modern machinery was operated in the factory.
At the end of the citrus harvest season the founders looked for a commercial-creative solution to take advantage of their production capabilities. With a vision and with diligence the members of Ha’argaz cooperative appealed to the “Ha’Mumhe” factory that specialized in the production of buses, which in those days were built from wood, and recruited friends, who together made up the core for the establishment of the bus division at “Ha’argaz.” On the 15th of September 1933 the “bus division” began operations and on the first of May 1935 the cornerstone was laid for the factory in Neve-Sha’anan.
In 1936, the Arab revolt began and inside “Ha’argaz” factory, which became a front in the battle, the people at “Ha’argaz” together with the “Hagana” organization, established defense posts, and guarded them together at night. The factory became an important strategic point and high piles of lumber, which were in the factory, were turned into secret hiding places for weapons.
In 1945 Ha’argaz company was established as an equal partner with the “laborers’ company.” In the summer of 1947 a new age began at “Ha’argaz” – heavy machinery, the first to be ordered from England and Belgium, were operated and the new work methods that were implemented saved a lot of money and time, and improved the quality of the factories.
On the day after the 29th of November 1947, on which it was decided in Lake Success to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, “Ha’argaz” representatives were invited to meet with Levi Eshkol, among the leaders of Israel at the time, and were asked to lend a hand in the effort towards the nearing war. The factory quickly prepared itself for production for war and began to make armored vehicles, which served the IDF in the first battles that broke out the day after the declaration of statehood.
“Ha’argaz” company always looked for new new products to be made. In 1949, the company decided to produce jerrycans and helmets for the newly established IDF. The successful product led to many more project commissions. Cooperation between “Ha’argaz” and the “Ampa” company, the sole agency for the import of “Philco” refrigerators from the US, led to the establishment of “Amcor” - a factory for the production of electric refrigerators that became a leader in its field, was partially owned by Ha’argaz.
In early 2000, due to a serious crisis in the company, the company was purchased by the Histadrut labor federation, by major-general (res.) Haggai Shalom, who presides as the chairman of the group since then. Due to the change in ownership, Ha’argaz group underwent a process of comprehensive streamlining, which stabilized the group and concentrated its activity in transportation, metal and outfitting, mobile structures, storage, refrigeration, display systems sectors. Today the group is a profitable, prosperous and developing company that champions innovation and productivity in the industry.