5 years ago

The Partnership no. 7

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Tomatoes
  • Varieties
  • Consumers
  • Breeding
  • Products
  • Cultivation

Journey Getting there

Journey Getting there efficiently and in time of the Seed The seed has been cleaned and graded, and the quality has been checked and enhanced. Only the very best batches make it through the Warehouse Management department into storage, ready to be packed and dispatched. Quite simple, you might say. But nothing could be further from the truth. “It sounds so straightforward, but behind the total seed flow there is an entire system which follows the seed going through our company from production to delivery,” Pieter Pereboom explains. “And there needs to be, to make sure the ten thousand or so shipments we send out every year run efficiently.” As soon as Customer Service has entered the order and Stock Management has allocated a particular batch of seeds to it, the machine operators get to work. Orders consisting of twenty batch or fewer are done by hand; larger orders are automated. Barcodes Pereboom: “Here in our department you can clearly see how technology speeds things up. We used to only have a few machines that packed seven packs per minute, but now we use machines that process 25 bags or cans of seed in the same time. And some machines even produce the bags themselves from a roll and print the labels in several languages or fonts directly onto the packaging. We have also started working with personal hand-helds which we use to scan barcodes at every step. This helps us keep track of the seed flow and eliminates the risk of errors.” Linking pin All orders are managed by the Customer Service department. Once the seeds are packed in the Packaging department, they also send them out. Customer Service is the linking pin in the order processing system. “To put it briefly, Customer Service handles all orders and shipping, both to our commercial subsidiaries and to distributors, plant raisers and greenhouse growers,” Manager Customer Service Ruud Groen explains. These are all commercial shipments, but seeds are also sent to non-commercial recipients such as R&D stations and production locations. Seed in commercial quantities is produced worldwide, and 95 percent of this seed comes back to the Netherlands for processing and inspection. Groen: “So sometimes you might find us sending sowing seed abroad, importing produced seed and exporting it back to the same region as commercial seed. This sounds like a waste of money, but it is in fact much more efficient. And surprisingly, it usually works out cheaper too. We have the knowledge and the machines here, and every day we have an inspector and shippers calling in. So there’s no delay in the process here. And remember that the main part of each batch we produce is sent to a different destination from their country of origin.” Phytosanitary rules Fulfilling orders and arranging shipping may sound straightforward enough, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Seed is a living organism, so you can’t simply send it across the border: it could be carrying diseases, bacteria and viruses. Groen: “We therefore have Enza Zaden exports vegetable seed to more than 120 countries. to be able to demonstrate that the seed in every shipment is healthy and complies with phytosanitary rules. This starts with the import phytosanitary certificate that shows inspections and other quality tests done in the country of origin. An inspector calls in every day to check these phytosanitary certificates and approve the shipments.” Countries outside the EU all have their own specific laws and regulations and therefore require documents that show that the seed is healthy and of high quality. Groen: “To give you an impression, we produce seed in more than thirty different countries, we export to more than 120 countries and our product range consists of more than sixty different types of crops. There are different rules and requirements for every combination of crop, seed origin and destination. So you can imagine how many different combinations there are. In addition, shippers, customs and, of course, customers all have their own specific rules and requirements. Sometimes a shipment can be accompanied by as many as eight different types of documents, and in multiple copies.” As Groen explains, relationship management is therefore also a key part of their work. Good relationships are not only essential for a good working partnership; local customers are also an important link and source of information on local regulations and imports. Groen: “They are the key players who help make our exports and their imports run more smoothly, so they are very important to us.” Product The Partnership | 23

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