Seed treatment: Seed Guard certifies AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG
Quality assurance is a permanent component of the seed treatment at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. At present another system has been integrated, which specifically stipulates and checks the seed staining procedure and processes. Seed Guard Gesellschaft für Qualitätssicherung mbH recently certified the professional seed treatment of grain and maise.
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- They are excited about the successful certification of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG according to Seed Guard requirements, which was performed by the SGS Group, Germany (from left): Jörg Bolm (AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG), Bettina Jahn, Anja Ehret (both SGS) and Arne Bernhardt (AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG).
The company's central seed stores in Isernhagen and Hanover have been working according o the quality management system DIN ISO 9001 since 2009. AGRAVIS is only the second company in Germany to have its grain seed treatment certified by Seed Guard. Moreover, two crop types were audited simultaneously for the first time in a so-called Combi-Audit. As a result, the Group is taking a pioneering role in seed quality assurance.
"Agricultural production is part of the food chain and seed generation and treatment is integrated into it, because the focus at all stages in the process chain is on the responsibility for the safety of food and the sustainability during generation," is how Werner Schmidt, Head of Seeds Department at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, explains the importance of quality assurance. "The certification according to the new Seed Guard-System is the ultimate in certification for staining systems in Germany."
Ultimate in certification for staining systems
Seed Guard provides a voluntary certification system, which specifies the procedure and processes and their systematic monitoring. Consequently, the system guarantees that all requirements for a high quality, environmentally friendly and user-safe seed staining is observed. Recognised certification agencies check the Seed Guard requirements annually. The certificates have to be renewed every three years.
The audits cover more than 50 different criteria – starting with questions about work processes, technical processing of the seed to packaging and storage. "Obtaining the Seed Guard Certificate means that AGRAVIS can prove it guarantees high levels of environmental and health safety for the seed staining process and for the resulting product," emphasises Schmidt.
The preparation for the audit lasted several months and required changes to the work processes. AGRAVIS quality manager Arne Bernhardt and seed manager Jörg Bolm carried out the planning, implementation and training of the employees based on Seed Guard-requirements.
The central seed store in Isernhagen is the central seed location of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. Every year more than 14,000 tonnes of certified seed are shipped here. Our range of products is very extensive with varieties von seed-corn, seedrape, intermediate crops, leguminosus plants, grasses and mixtures. The seeds go travelling to agricultural cooperative societies and farmers from the smallest packages all the way to truckloads.
New laboratory ad new warehouse
Some months ago the central seed store was expanded with its own laboratory. In parallel to this, a new 2,200 square metre warehouse was built for storing delivery and production goods.
"We are one of the largest and most modern seed locations in Germany," stresses Schmidt. "With our own laboratory we are able to fulfil the high demands in terms of quality assurance and traceability. Certification by Seed Guard is therefore a logical addition and confirmation of our already existing quality assurance system."