FUTURE-PROOFING OUR TOMATOES
Location: Stockton, California
37°55’N 121°58’ W
Irresistible Heinz taste starts with great soil – but there’s a lot more to it than that. Our special Heinz seeds may only be small, but they play a very important role too. In California we have our specialist agriculture and seed research center, Heinz Seed, where our team of researchers and scientists help to future proof the unique Heinz tomato ketchup seed and test new sustainable practices to ensure we can keep growing tasty tomatoes for years to come. We’re not just focused on great tomatoes today, but great tomatoes tomorrow for the tasty ketchup our consumers know and love.
Our research center was started over 100 years ago and it’s here that our Heinz researchers develop the perfect rich and thick tomato seed varieties for our delicious tomato ketchup. And because no two soils are the same, we also develop unique seeds for specific locations all over the world so that crops can thrive in different types of soils, diverse weather conditions or be more resilient to pests and diseases. All of this is important so that our farmers have strong tomato plants to continue to grow tomatoes for the ketchup consumers know and love.
With the increasing impacts of climate change, the need for our research centre is becoming more and more important. For example, with increased water shortages we need crops that can handle drier conditions. We grow new types of seeds that can handle changing growing conditions – because changing conditions require changing seeds.
Seed research is far from the only work undertaken at our centre. We also try out new sustainable growing practises to understand what works – and, just as importantly, what does not. We test practices such as cover cropping and crop rotations on the research farm and measure the results to understand how to best implement these practices. When we evaluate our findings, we can confidently pass on our knowledge to our growers – helping them take steps to become more sustainable too.
Decades of over-tilling have left Spain’s normally rich soil, hard and impenetrable. But by intermittently planting different crops to break down and improve the topsoil, we’ve helped increase soil health and doubled tomato yields in just eight years.FIND OUT MORE
After harvest, soil was tired and lacking in nutrients. So instead of planting more tomatoes, we alternated with other crops, like grasses to feed and build back the soil’s nutrients. Boosting tomato harvests and protecting soil in the future.FIND OUT MORE
Overhead watering systems were not getting enough nutrients to the soil to feed our tomatoes. By starving them a little, they sent their roots further into the soil as they dug for water. Consequently, making stronger, higher yielding tomatoes.FIND OUT MORE