BCC EXEC BRINGS FRESH PERSPECTIVE TO THE BUSINESS OF BARLEY
By Tyler Difley
The Barley Council of Canada (BCC) recently announced the appointment of Brett Campbell as its executive director. Campbell brings over 15 years of senior management experience to the BCC, including
extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, agri-marketing and food processing industries.
“It’s a pleasure to be at the helm of a national organization that is making ground-breaking developments for barley,” said Campbell. “I look forward to being a strong voice for barley in Canada, as well as working with industry, farmer groups, government representatives and researchers to develop Canada’s barley industry at home and internationally.”
Campbell’s rural roots are strong. He grew up in the community of Bearspaw, northwest of Calgary, where he was exposed to agriculture and the people who make it tick.
“I had a lot of friends in the farming community,” he said. “It was a good experience for the careers I’ve been in, in beef and now in barley.”
Campbell’s experience in the beef and cattle industry is significant, ranging from product management at Cargill Foods to senior international management at XL Foods. More recently, Campbell was the executive vice-president for the Canadian Beef Breeds Council and vice-chairman and technical chairman with the Canadian Beef Export Federation.
When Campbell signed on with the Canadian Beef Breeds Council as executive vice-president, he handled the worldwide sale and promotion of Canadian beef genetics. Finally, he rounded out his beef industry knowledge in the animal pharmaceutical sector at Merck Animal Health.
This unique experience and skillset makes Campbell a prime asset to this national organization. He is now looking to unite his extensive knowledge of the beef industry to the entire barley value chain.
“I’ve got that experience on the beef side, which is obviously a large customer for barley products,” he said. “I can bring those past relationships that I’ve built to the table.”
Campbell added that one of the greatest aspects of the BCC is the strong voice it provides for all stakeholders in the barley industry.
“We’ve got the malting and brewing industry, we’ve got the feed and livestock sector, research representatives and select grain handling companies,” he said. “This is the first time in history the entire value chain has been brought together from coast to coast on a Board of Directors.”
Increasing Canadian barley acres is a major goal for the BCC going forward, Campbell said. The solution, he added, could be as simple as better communication and awareness about barley.
“I don’t think it’s something the organization can singlehandedly do, but I think it’s really about changing the mindset and being positive,” he said. “It’s about making it our own and giving an identity to barley. Something that people can take notice of.”
According to Campbell, this identity will have to be built over time, and patience is key.
“We’re looking for sustainable growth, ” he said. “Wins that demonstrate value are what matters most to this value chain. It will take time and long-term strategic planning.”
In the meantime, Campbell said he is happy to represent one of Canada’s premier crops and to be a part of the vibrant Canadian agriculture industry.
“I’m a proud Canadian, and you really can’t get any more Canadian than agriculture products,” he said. “Canada has a unique position in the sense that we’ve got a lot of natural resources and I think we have a tendency to build long-lasting business relationships—that’s something we can be proud of.”