South Pacific Seeds was established in 1986. It was founded by a group of former Yates Seeds employees. From the outset the company sought to specialise in servicing the Australian vegetable seed market as well as producing seed on a contract multiplication basis for a wide range of overseas seed houses. They are not seed breeders, as they believe this would compromise their integrity as a fully independent production company.
The initial work was carried out in Australia using locations in the south east of the continent and the island of Tasmania, covering a range of latitudes from 34 degrees to 42 degrees south. By utilising southern hemisphere production they were able to offer their customers in the northern hemisphere an opportunity for off season production, thereby spreading their risk and having the chance to produce two seed crops in one year.
- South Pacific Seeds quickly established a reputation for quality and customer service, and in the early 1990's they were able to offer additional production locations in New Zealand. This has been a very successful enterprise and today they have a highly sophisticated seed cleaning and export operation based in Methven on the Canterbury Plains (visit SPS New Zealand website).
- In more recent years SPS has opened a branch in Chile to offer their customers an even greater range of crops that can be produced, utilising the unique climatic factors of that country (visit SPS Chile website).
- South Pacific Seeds also has a northern hemisphere operation, known as North Pacific Seeds, which is based in California, with a branch in Oregon. North Pacific Seeds is a very successful production company, which offers a wide range of crops that can be produced (visit NPS website).
21 years following the company's inception, the SPS group of companies can claim to be amongst the largest independent vegetable seed production companies in the world.