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News - 06-04-2023

Investing in Seed Quality

Seeds are not only at the beginning of the food chain, they are also at the start of the farmer’s journey to a successful crop. We recognise our contribution to this journey and our responsibility for its success. That is why we never underestimate the importance of seed quality.

Rijk Zwaan seed is produced all over the world but every single seed, no matter where it is produced or eventually sold,  is first sent to the Netherlands for centralised quality control - cleaning, testing and quality management. In 2018 Rijk Zwaan opened the Seed Quality Centre (SQC) – a dedicated new facility with laboratories, climate controlled cells and its own greenhouse.

Rijk Zwaan’s Seed Quality Centre

 “All activities in the SQC are focused on quality control”, explains Hans Linders, Manager Quality at Rijk Zwaan. “All Rijk Zwaan seeds need to meet high quality standards. The departments that play a role in quality control are all located in the SQC. The department for seed health, for example, checks whether seeds are free from diseases, and the molecular biology department assesses the authenticity of commercial varieties based on DNA.” Thanks to this new location, Rijk Zwaan increases its capacity for growth, modernization and the application of new technology. Managing seed quality is a rigorous and thorough process that involves not only maintaining the quality of commercial seeds but also the quality of the breeding stock lines.

Quality control in the Netherlands

Seed quality rests on four pillars: genetic purity, seed purity, seed health and germination performance. Unless seeds perform well against all four of these aspects, they are not released for sale. Because Rijk Zwaan places so much emphasis on seed quality, through the centralised quality control processes and the implementation of our own rigorous quality standards, we have a very high reputation for quality with customers worldwide.

Eager to know more about the seed quality journey at Rijk Zwaan? Then please have a look at this video.