Wholesale Seeds was formed 2007 by James and Angela Smith in reaction to demand from customers for more cost effective pastoral options.
Upon formation the company had just three employees but growth occured rapidly and in its present state Wholesale Seeds now has 15 permanent staff and in peak season employs an extra seven temporary employees. The acquisition of a retail dressing site at Tinwald in 2014 cemented Wholesale Seeds' position in the Mid Canterbury seed industry.
The rapid growth of the company can be attributed to several key factors. Foremost is a comprehensive range of products that offer a combination of performance and durability, retailed at prices that had not been encountered before in the marketplace.
Wholesale Seeds' portfolio includes proprietary ryegrass varieties, from annuals through to perennials, which have been sold into the Canterbury pastoral market for over eight years, proving their longevity. Complementing the grasses is a wide range of legumes including red and white clover as well as herb species including chicory and plantain. Vulcan kale has been a top performer in the brassica market for a number of years now and more recently fodder beet has accounted for a large proportion of the company's business.
However, having a product range that performs is only half the service on offer, with the company priding itself on offering agronomic advice to it's retail customers based on the specific requirements of each individual farming operation. This advice encompasses rotation planning, interpretation of soil tests then qualifying nutrient requirements specific to different crops and advising in agrichemical application. The ability to offer this service can only be achieved with motivated intelligent staff that realise the importance of crop monitoring in order to optimise timing of different applications. This is reflected in the recent acquisition of two Lincoln graduates to help with the growing demand.
This advice is underpinned by a broad research programme that is independently run at different sites throughout Canterbury. Wholesale Seeds recognises the importance of progressing the industry through science by asking some key questions that will improve the level of advice our field reps can offer, ultimately adding value to our customers operations.