When seeds are collected, they usually contain leaves, twigs or insects. Seed is processed, using both hand sieves and a wide range of mechanical cleaners. Cleaning the seeds reduces the amount of space taken up during storage and improves seed storage life.
Next, seed collectors weigh and package the seed, which is then stored as stock or sent to customers. Not all collected seed will germinate. In some cases, there may be no seed inside the fruit, or the seed may be dead, however, the majority of seed that is supplied commercially, is viable and germinable.
Seed collecting programmes are often aimed at maintaining the integrity of the local gene pool. This is called provenance seed collection.