Production planning of seeds requires precision
Vegetable seeds are a natural product, that are produced under stringent conditions with extensive quality controls. We plan carefully, so that we can deliver the seeds to our customers on time.
Seed production takes a few months and in case of some crops even up to a few years. This requires great care. Our seeds are produced at different production locations worldwide. The seeds arrive at our logistics centre in De Lier from all over the world.
“To be able to produce all year round, we have our own production locations for cucumbers and melons in both the Netherlands and Tanzania. It is fantastic to see that people in East Africa work to the same stringent quality standards as we do in the Netherlands! Our production specialists regularly travel abroad to inspect all the crops. Borders blur at Rijk Zwaan, because we all have the same ambitions, ‘Sharing a healthy future!”
JudithTeam Leader Supply Chain
The seeds are extensively tested at our locations in De Lier. Samples of the seeds are tested for varietal identity, germination capacity and plant diseases, among other things. After these tests, the seeds are cleaned and sorted. The ultimate goal is a uniform batch with only the highest quality seeds. As a final step in the production process, the seeds are temporarily stored in the mini load. Here the storage conditions are optimal and order picking is fully automated.
“No day is the same! The OCC (Operations Coordination Centre) is the control room of Operations. Here we coordinate demand and capacity. As a planner, you are in the centre maintaining contact across departments. You need to be adaptable, as working with a natural product can be unpredictable. Solving a new puzzle every day remains a nice challenge.”
Sometimes extra treatments are required before the seeds are delivered. With pelleting, seeds are coated with a clay-like substance creating uniformly round seeds. This is easier for sowing machines and protects the seeds from soil fungi.
“The processes involved before the seeds can be commercially packed by a packing machine is often lengthy. It is therefore nice that so many departments, such as the Technical Department, Packaging, Supply Chain, Quality and Planning, and external companies work together to get the job done!”
RubenTeam Coördinator Packaging
To the customer
A grower often only chooses a vegetable variety at the last moment. However, seed cultivation needs to commence well in advance. For that reason, it is all about planning. With our experience, cooperation and commitment, we achieve our goal: delivering top quality seeds at the right moment and in the right quantity.