A lot of articles, ideas, guides and more are nowadays written about microgreens, but what we have noticed is a lack of information regarding microgreen and other seed suppliers around the world. We just couldn’t find anything on this topic gathered in one place.
That’s why we’ve combined our forces and prepared a series of 4 blog posts for microgreens and other seed suppliers from 4 continents. We researched and gathered suppliers from America, Europe, Australia and Asia. We dove deep into each supplier, so that you will get all basics and will see immediately, which one suits your needs best. Since there is a lot of wrong information circling around the web, we think, you will benefit a lot from this series of blog posts. Perhaps you will find some new sources that you didn’t know they even existed before. We tried our best to gain the same information for each supplier and clearly pointed out where they are strong (or not).
Information in this blog post could be easily used as a buyer’s guide for purchasing seeds. We will try to answer all of your questions that may come to mind. You may jump to the section on all suppliers at the end of this blog post. But before you do so we recommend reading a few important things that should be mentioned:
Why is it important to have a trustable supplier?
Now, let us first explain a little bit more on choosing the right supplier. To answer the question, YES, definitely, choosing the right supplier is very essential. Let me talk about our experience.
Our main selling seed variety is pea. So we know that we will need a lot of good seeds and we try to never run out of stock. But what we experienced this year, I wish will never happen to us again. One of our supplier has a system, that requires us to preorder the majority of our seeds at the beginning of the season. And we need to calculate how many seeds we will need, plus, in which months do you wish seeds to be delivered to you. So, not just that you need to be a magician and predict the quantity but also, timing, if you don’t have to be overwhelmed with them in your warehouse. As always I asked for our previous year’s orders so that I have some basics on to which I add an approximate evaluation how much more we will be needing next year. But this year we managed to double our sales. So you guessed correctly, that I preordered too little seeds. The situation wouldn’t be so dramatic, if the supplier would tell us, that they also are running out of stock of peas. But that didn’t happened. All what he sent to us was, that they don’t have anymore. Can you imagine the situation we were in?
However we are generally an optimistic family and we are always saying, we don’t have problems, just challenges and situations. So I looked to other suppliers around, but the fact was, no one had the same quality of pea seeds, which we are using. I asked for several samples but no one meet our requirements. What we have left was to choose the best approximation of our variety and apologize to our customers in advance for getting other pea versions in the next two months. After that we got our previous seeds back. But what we learned from this was, a good and reliable supplier is key to our (or your) success. You create your story, but without trustable suppliers, your final products can be under question. You really need someone, who can meet your needs and who can listen to you. We will touch on this later in blog posts also.
Quality of the seeds matter
We would like to answer some of the most common questions around seeds we’ve been asked since we started dealing with microgreens.
What seeds can be used for microgreens? Some special seeds or are microgreen seeds the same as regular seeds?
When I first asked one of my suppliers what the difference is, the answer I got was: »Seeds are the same as a regular ones, the only difference is that they pick up smaller and not the greatest mature plants or vegetables, and they use it for sprouting or microgreen seeds«. I think that this is a very reasonable explanation.
But not all vegetable seeds are appropriate for sprouting or growing microgreens. Some leaves don’t taste nice and some are toxic. For example tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes are from the nightshade family so they shouldn’t be sprouted and grown as microgreens. There was also a lot of discussion on:
Organic or non-organic seeds?
If you care about yourself and your loving ones, we think growing just organic seeds is a must nowadays. Because commercially available seeds have been treated with fungicides or pest deterrents which will break down and be harmless by the time a full-grown plant is harvested but may still be present after the short time it takes to sprout or grow microgreens. Plants invest most of their energy and nutrients into the next generation. As a result, nutrients, herbicides and pesticides are still concentrated in the seeds. If using non-organic seeds, you will ingest herbicides and pesticides. Not forgetting to mention that if you sell microgreens for profit or as a business most businesses that you sell to, and customers itself will want to have organic seeds these days.
Buying organic seeds, that are marketed as sprouting safe or suitable for microgreens, is the best possible option for you. With this in mind, you can be sure to get good, quality and safe to eat seeds.
What else to look for when searching for good, quality seeds?
Our advice is that firstly, you buy small amounts of seeds, and test them out. If your are satisfied with the germination rate and if seeds don’t mold, then read the label and remember the LOT number so that you will send the LOT number to the supplier when ordering next time. Buying in bulk can save you some money, because prices are more ‘user friendly’ when buying larger amounts of seeds. Seeds bought in bulk are more suitable for commercial growers, but sometimes home growers use this method also. Choose your suppliers and retailers wisely. Try to find the ones that have a fast turnover rate, so the seeds are as fresh as possible. If you get some already in stock seeds, the rule is that each year seeds sit in the storage; germination rate falls down for 10-30%.
Seeds are like mini bombs. They are waiting for perfect conditions (temperature and moisture for germination) to sprout and grow. We are ordering in bulk just after the season so that we know we will get really the freshest seeds on the market.
What are benefits of gaining a good relationship with your suppliers?
You really should do your best, to build a good relationship with all of your suppliers. After all, your products depend on the quality of your supplies. Be patient and let them know, they are a very important company, supplier or person to you. What you basically need to say to them is that their products and services are exceptional and extraordinary. Put a lot of emphasis on this relationship. With this approach you definitely will have an advantage.
- Better prices
Don’t we all want better prices? If you can get it from the start, then your profit will be much higher, and you could invest that extra money on some other stuff.
- Some extra discounts
Sometimes good relationship is responsible for some extra discounts on your whole order. So you are benefiting even you weren’t planning to get good prices.
- First to know if new varieties are available
This is a huge advantage. You will be notified perhaps even before your ‘competition’ when something new is coming on the market. If I imagine our chefs with whom we are dealing with, this will be an added value to them. They are always looking for new products, tastes, textures, colors; you will be their first choice. That’s for sure.
- More willing to help you when you are in a hurry
It can happen sometimes, that you run out of some seeds, and you still didn’t order new one. In that case, having your supplier as a good business partner, it can be worth a lot. It happens to us also. And then I just call the supplier and ask them if they are willing to put me on a priority list to get seeds as fast as possible. And usually you can get them in a few days. Right these days, around New Year, we got some bad germinating nasturtium seeds. I contact our other supplier, and even they were on a holiday, they answered to me and are willing to send me seeds as soon as possible. But without good relationship, this wouldn’t happened.
- Sometimes you can get smaller packages of seeds, even if they sell in bigger packages
This is something, when ordering from a bigger supplier can be very challenging. Their policies are that you need to order their bigger packages or you won’t get seeds. But with the approach above, you can get smaller packages. For example, one of our bigger suppliers is packing broccoli in 25kg (~50 pounds). But we are taking just 3-5kg at a time. With this we will have the best seed quality each time we order. And because of the good relationship with them, there aren’t any issues with this quantity. They are still happy to pack us smaller quantities.
- Win-win combination
You help me, and I will help you. There should always be this win-win combination. If you gain from your supplier, you should always help them back somehow. One way is to share your satisfaction via social media. You will gain a lot from this way and so are they.
- Getting notice if some of the seeds are running out from their warehouse
It happens some time, that supplier runs out of the stock of some seed variety. To be on a safe side, you strive to get information as soon as possible so that you can buy some more seed for your stock.
- Easily return seeds back + get money back
Here is our example. We started to cooperate with a new supplier this year; we haven’t tested all varieties in the beginning, since there were a lot of different possibilities. When we placed our first order, we didn’t know if all of the seeds are with a good germination percentage. But after testing, we noticed that some aren’t meeting our requirements. And we apologize to the company and hope to get our money back. Because of good fundamentals at the beginning, they alone offered the money back. On top of that we were told that we could return seeds back any time we wanted.
- They will do their best to satisfy you (search for a good seed, new seed)
Advanced chefs, advanced orders – sometimes you will need to find some new varieties of microgreens to satisfy your customers. Therefore you need a good reliable supplier to find what you are looking for. Sometimes shipment costs are way too high, so you are in a better position if some of your existing supplier can supply what you need.
- Free samples
When looking for a new supplier, you should test their seeds first. That’s why it’s essential for you to get free samples at the beginning. With thus, you will save some money and test germination before your bigger order. What’s important is, when you reach out to new suppliers you can give them an idea of your business and potential so that they understand what they can expect.
- Find trustable supplier
To get the most quality supplies from the start, find trustable supplier, on who you can rely on.
- Good, quality seeds are essential
To grow the best microgreens in your area, you will need the best quality seeds.
- Establish good relationship with suppliers
You can gain a lot of benefits if you establish good relationship with supplier.
- Find several suppliers
We prefer to have several suppliers. In our case, we are getting seeds from 4 different companies. With this in mind, we can be sure, that even if some of them have run out of some seeds, we can get it somewhere else. Also, not all have the same quality. If we brought out once again our case with pea seeds, then you can see, why having different suppliers is essential. But when you find seeds which meet your needs, stick with the chosen one. With that, you will gain a lot of benefits stated above.
Without further ado, here are our 4 blog posts on all microgeens and other seed suppliers around the world:
If you are supplier of good, quality microgreen and sprouting seeds and we didn’t mention you, but you would like to be a part of these, please feel free to contact us, so that we can add you to our list.
Want to learn more?
If you have any questions about the information cited in this post or about microgreens in general, please leave a comment below or reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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