Few people have their name as profoundly imprinted on the Canadian pulse and special crops industry as Greg Simpson. The news of his retirement signifies the end of an era, though subsequently, the beginning of a new one.
Greg leaves his legacy behind as his daughter Elyce steps in to lead the company. Having worked alongside her father for many years, Elyce is taking on the organization at a time when the industry is quickly shifting into the spotlight.
“I think it’s pretty exciting for someone like myself retiring, being able to see the industry prosper in a way that it’s attracting people like my daughter, (Pulse Canada President) Greg Cherewyk and others to get behind this significant development of a new industry.”
Canadian growers and processors are hard at work propelling the pulse industry through a historic milestone as consumer demand for nutritional, plant-based protein is rising. Since the year 2000, total Canadian pulse exports have increased in volume by 172 percent, with lentil exports increasing to 502 percent. The pulse industry is well aligned with consumer wants, and it’s this generation of leaders that will be integral to the role pulses will play in the rest of this century.
Elyce helped Greg and the company create a twelve-year succession plan that transitioned Greg out of the leadership role and brought Elyce in.
“She’s always had a desire to lead the company. When she was little, she’d say to me, ‘I want your job one day.’”
Greg led an impressive career, starting Simpson Seeds with his family in 1979, a pioneer in the pulse industry that grew to popularize lentils in the Canadian prairies and build the nation’s export market. But he hasn’t just done a great deal for Canada’s pulse and special crops industry. Greg’s career embodies a greater goal of the broader agriculture industry—making nutritious food accessible to those who need it.
“One of the opportunities that came as a result of my travel and meeting people around the world is being able to be a part of mission work and actually send pulses right into locals within India and Sri Lanka where people really need food.”
Greg, Elyce and Simpson Seeds illustrate the integrity of the Canadian pulse industry. Greg stated it perfectly—"we’re blessed enough to bless others.”
There is no doubt Greg Simpson is leaving this industry better than he found it. The Canadian Special Crops Association and the entire sector appreciate the dedication Greg has given the Canadian pulse industry for over 40 years and are excited to continue to work with Elyce as she leads Simpson Seeds into the future.
Pulse Canada is the national association of growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulses, also known as lentils, dry peas, beans and chickpeas. Pulses are an essential part of a healthy and sustainable diet. Pulses and pulse ingredients can help food manufacturers improve the nutritional and functional quality of food products.