H.J. Heinz Company - Corporate Social Responsibility

HeinzSeed Grows Sustainable Tomatoes

Heinz has been developing proprietary tomato varieties since the 1930s. In 1970, the HeinzSeed Company was established to meet the challenge of creating tomato varieties that are adaptable to various global climates and best-suited for processing. HeinzSeed produces non-genetically modified hybrid tomato seeds for sustainable characteristics through traditional breeding techniques that help to ensure high quality, taste and nutrition when the tomato is harvested and processed.

Our renowned team has invested decades of research to develop hundreds of different commercial tomato varieties that:

  • Deliver superior taste;
  • Produce a higher yield;
  • Remain ripe longer;
  • Are more resistant to disease; and
  • Require less water.

Healthier Crops Benefit the Earth

HeinzSeeds produce firm tomatoes that remain ripe longer when stored in the field. This has enabled Heinz growers to harvest tomatoes at peak ripeness, when they taste best, instead of removing them from the vine when they haven’t fully matured. This lengthened growing period maximizes the flavor of the tomatoes.

Heinz has bred tomatoes to be more disease resistant so tomato crops are less prone to blight, mold, viruses and bacterial diseases. Disease resistance also reduces the amount of pesticides used to help ensure healthy tomato plants, which keeps water supplies safer and production costs lower.

HeinzSeeds have been produced to provide farmers with high-quality seedlings that are uniform and healthy. Using an automated process, seeds are sown in greenhouses to enable the development of several million seedlings at one time. The 30–50 day growing process is closely monitored, using a plan that incorporates irrigation, fertilization and disease protection.

Rather than giving farmers bare-rooted seedlings, growers are provided with healthy plug seedlings that are transplanted to the field using automated equipment, where they will grow, flower, set, ripen and be harvested. This procedure enables Heinz to maintain a strong influence over the entire cultivation process.

HeinzSeed’s Global Footprint

Our agricultural team has travelled the world to identify and educate qualified growers who want to cultivate Heinz tomatoes in a responsible and profitable manner. Heinz has supplied 4.6 billion hybrid tomato seeds each year to our farmers and processing partners in more than 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, China, Southeast Asia, India, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, Africa, Caribbean nations and Latin America.

More than 30% of the world’s processed tomatoes are grown using Heinz® seeds. In developing nations, HeinzSeed has helped farmers to improve their quality of life while conserving water and reducing over-reliance on chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Thanks to HeinzSeed, farmers have produced higher yields of quality tomatoes without genetic modification. Heinz also has systems in place to trace each tomato that is grown from Heinz seed, from field to fork.

Heinz 57 Centre


HeinzSeed produces hybrid tomato seeds through traditional breeding techniques that help to ensure high quality, taste and nutrition.