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All the latest news on Starke Ayres’ vegetable seed varieties, and the success that commercial vegetable seed farmers have achieved using them.

This page will also be updated with new seed variety releases and other commercial seed industry news.


Starke Ayres has always placed great value on the quality of products supplied to customers. On the 1st March 2013 the company opened the doors of the new Quality Assurance Laboratory facilities at the Head Office in Kaalfontein, South Africa. This had become necessary as the old facility had become unable to handle increased volumes of work. An objective from day 1 was the achievement of an International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) accreditation. Such accreditation means that high standards are continually maintained and are independently audited on a regular basis. It also allows the laboratory to issue certain quality certificates necessary for the export of seed. This in turn will allow Starke Ayres to deliver a more speedy and efficient service to clients in other countries.

In December 2013 laboratory manager Lucele Pretorius attended an ISTA Quality Assurance Workshop in Switzerland and this led to the introduction of a Quality Management System. The Starke Ayres Quality Assurance Laboratory became ISTA members on the 1st of January 2014 and participated in the ISTA proficiency testing that same year. The Laboratory achieved “A” ratings for all tests participated in.

On the 1st December 2016 an audit was conducted by ISTA representatives Rita Zecchinelli as lead auditor and Irena Gera as technical auditor. Findings contributed to improvements in the Quality Management System and the experience was also of great value to the employees involved in the preparation and execution of the audit.  This team consisted of the laboratory manager, two seed analysts, five laboratory assistants and five accredited samplers.

The scope of accreditation now enjoyed by the Starke Ayres Quality Assurance Laboratory includes manual seed sampling, purity testing, germination testing, other seed determination and weight determination on grasses, cereals, small legumes, pulses, other agricultural crops, vegetables, flower species and coated seeds.

The successful ISTA accreditation of the Starke Ayres Quality Assurance Laboratory underlines a commitment to quality and to ensure that only seed of the highest quality is supplied to our valued customers. In celebrating our 140 years of existence, we are proud to be an accredited member of ISTA.


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