"If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together"
Brock Buchanan embarked for East Africa for 2 years as a CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) volunteer in Tanzania, where he gained tremendous experience as a young commodities trader. His entrepreneurial spirit was quickly recognized, and he was asked to build new business for a semi-governmental company. This opportunity allowed him to help develop the sales of various export items, including Tanzanian cashew kernels, and to build new markets in the Middle East, Japan, East Germany, and Holland. By the end of Brock's tour with CUSO, he had travelled around the world and contributed greatly to the company’s sales. But for this young Canadian, Tanzania didn’t just introduce him to the Zanzibar clove—it forever changed his life.
Brock married Delphine Lyaruu Buchanan, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Enticed by the breadth of opportunities Canada had to offer, they moved to Toronto and established a home and family.
After 13 years with a major international trading company, Brock was released. Despite a significant record of accomplishments, he was deemed too independent for the firm he represented.
With the encouragement and support of his wife Delphine, Brock established Buchanan Trading Inc. From a small office in Toronto, the company traded spices for import into Canada and sold bulk vegetable oils for export to Asia. The business was initially financed with a loan from Brock’s mother and the liquidation of Brock and Delphine’s modest savings. While they had enough to trade small quantities of spices, they lacked the funds for the bulk vegetable oils that moved across the world in quantities of 1,000 metric tonnes. Fortunately, a newly opened bank came through with a line of credit—just weeks before Brock received an inquiry from a Singapore oil dealer for a $1.3 million shipment. This first oil trade was a success, and Buchanan Trading had truly launched itself.
Brock and Delphine’s daughter, Holly, joined Buchanan Trading to fill in for a trader on maternity leave. With Brock about to depart on a critical marketing and trade trip to Asia, Holly knew how important it was for her to help support the business during his absence. Before Brock reached Vancouver, Holly had concluded a sale of 50 tonnes of black pepper with one of the largest spice buyers in Canada. Brock was astonished, and it was clear that Buchanan Trading had found a talented new spice trader. This marked the start of a great business partnership between father and daughter.
Under the joint leadership of Holly and Brock, the spice and oleoresin business continued to flourish. As their business was succeeding, the food industry was going through a period of great change. Increasingly stringent regulations were being introduced, putting a growing emphasis on food safety. Buchanan Trading embraced these shifts in the industry, which presented an exciting opportunity to enhance its business model and showcase its strengths in quality and supplier relationships. The new model moved away from a traditional trader style of business to one that was all-encompassing, with a customized approach for each customer.
After years of learning all aspects of the business from her father, Holly had grown to truly respect and appreciate its potential. It came as no surprise to the industry when Holly officially took over the reins of Buchanan Trading in May 2006. She had witnessed and admired her father's ability to live up to his personal values by maintaining high standards in business. She continues to honour his legacy, employing her passion and commitment to building lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships.
After 38 years in business, Buchanan Trading celebrated a milestone in having successfully achieved BRC certification, AA grade. When BRC announced they had a new category of certification for non manufacturers, the Buchanan team jumped at the opportunity to receive recognition for their top notch food safety management. Today the company is well positioned to take on exciting new opportunities that lie ahead.
Buchanan Trading becomes Buchanan Global Ingredients to better reflect its vision, mission, and values.