The largest privately owned seed company in Saskatchewan, Simpson Seeds has been tilling soil since the seventies. But even with a solid business of growing and selling lentils to nearly 70 countries, President and CEO Greg Simpson constantly thinks about the future.
"Most companies are built to sell," says Greg. "But we're largely building to maintain the legacy. One of our core values is family — not only our family, but all families. We believe family is the fabric of the nation and we're intent on preserving that."
Unlike many companies in the seed industry, Simpson Seeds has bucked the consolidation trend to remain independent. With six family members of the next generation positioned to become owner-operators, Greg wants to keep his company strong enough to pass along. Part of his strategy is aggressive growth.
"We have a big hairy audacious goal which is to be the number one industry brand by every consuming nation by 2030."
To help reach that target, Greg plans to ramp up the activity at Simpson Seed processing plants as much as possible. "We have four processing plants in four different locations — two in Moose Jaw, one in Swift Current, one in Kyle, Saskatchewan," he says. "We want to increase the asset utilization. So for example, if we're at 65% capacity we'd like to get it to 85 or 90%."
If he maxes out the plants, then he'll look at building new facilities or strategic acquisitions. Ultimately, this depends on global sales. Even though pulses (crops harvested solely for dry seed) are the primary product, Greg believes flexibility is a vital part of the plan.
"Pulses are our core and we'll stay true to our core, but within that market there's extreme diversification. We're always willing to shift as necessary."
The company's seeds of diversity were originally planted more than thirty years ago. Facing restrictions on major grains by the Canadian Wheat Board, Simpson Seeds instead focused on pulses such as yellow peas, lentils and chickpeas. To take advantage of the off-season, the company also built plants to clean commercial seed for farmers.
Now, with one hundred employees plus a new Chief Financial Officer, Greg says he's equipped with the right management and vision to plow forward in a powerful manner.
"We're pretty confident about how we're going here. We're going to build success on success."
by YouInc Columnist Tiffany Burns