Team leader of processing, Pieter Pereboom, explains: ,,The lettuce customers buy at the grocery store, have been on quite a journey in order to get there. Enza Zaden breeds seeds in several climate zones. Fruit crops such as peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins and tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, other vegetable crops such as lettuces are grown in fields. Part of the production takes place here in the Netherlands, but we also produce in California, Australia and Malaysia, among other countries.
The most vegetable seeds Enza Zaden breeds and produces, are fairly easy to prepare for sale. ,,The seeds are firm and strong enough to be sown directly by the growers who purchase our seeds. The exception to this is our lettuce and endive seeds. These seeds are so small and light-weighed; they easily blow away when sown. To prevent this from happening, lettuce seeds are being pelleted. The pelleting process means the seed is covered with a small layer of clay, making it easier to accurately sow them.’’
Because pelleted seeds are vulnerable due to their extra layer, Enza Zaden prioritizes a steady and smooth (internal) transport. Pereboom: ,,We used to receive the pelleted seeds in cases of twenty kilos each. Our packaging system consists of a weighing machine accessible through stairs, which meant our employees had to walk up these stairs several times a day to empty the cases. We have been following this packaging process for years, until Incotec, the company that pellets our seeds, told us about the big bag handling system of Indus Bulk Logistics.”