Weigh/fill/bagging system provides 1-gram fill accuracy and better packaging for Heinz tomato seeds that sell for $300 to $1,500 a pound.
By Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor
Selling proprietary breeds of tomato seeds to growers is a lucrative and growing business for HeinzSeed, a division of Heinz USA. Heinz went commercial with its seed line in 1991, and sales will reach 70,000 bags of seeds this year. Bags, which are sized to contain exactly 150,000 seeds, weigh in the range of one pound, depending on the seed size, and sell for $300 to $1,500 each, depending on the variety. Heinz had been packing the seeds into paper bags by hand and then sewing the tops shut. But, increasing sales made this impractical, so last year it installed a weigh/fill/bagging system from Weighpack/Paxiom. “We looked at a number of machines, but Weighpack/Paxiom was best for our needs,” says Gary King, HeinzSeed’s regional manager-sales & trials. “It’s very flexible and easy to operate, it’s extremely accurate, it produces great-looking bags, and it wasn’t as expensive as some of the other machines. Plus, we had to install it in a relatively small space and it has a very small footprint so it doesn’t take up much floor space.”