R. W. Gunson (Seeds) Ltd

R. W. Gunson (Seeds) Ltd


In 1881, William Gunson left Hungary as a refugee for New Zealand where he founded W. Gunson & Co – a seed-grain and produce business. William Gunson died in 1902 and the business was taken over by his son James Henry Gunson (Mayor of Auckland). William’s other son, Robert Withers Gunson (b.1885) also worked for W. Gunson & Co but left Wellington, New Zealand in 1920 to start his own seed business in England. This firm became known as R. W. Gunson (Seeds) Ltd. In 1938, the business merged with Beno Balint & Sons Ltd.

In 1945 R. W. Gunson (Exports) Ltd was incorporated and opened a branch in Limbe, Nyasaland where it traded as R. W. Gunson Seeds & Exports Ltd. This was eventually closed in 1970 and the company later dissolved.

In 1947, Gunson invented SORTEX – an optical sorting machine. In 1955, due to the success of the invention, a separate SORTEX division was created which was acquired by Buhler in 1994. The business currently trades as Buhler SORTEX.


  • The History of Essex Seeds – Elinor M.C. Roper