The retail produce veteran joined the Dover-based organization in 2008 as executive director. He plans to formally retire Sept. 30.
The organization began an informal search for his successor, Campbell said.
Turning 66 this summer, Campbell has been in the industry for 48 years.
Campbell worked more than three decades in produce retail and wholesaling, including chairman and various industry roles with the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association and president of the Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation, which he helped create.
He entered the industry in 1966 as a produce clerk for The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc., in Baltimore and was also produce director for Associated Wholesale Grocers in Kansas City, Kan., and headed perishables for club store pioneer Dutch-owned Makro during the 1980s.
At Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu Inc., Campbell focused on the organization’s field buying and was corporate produce director.
He said the strawberry growers group has grown tremendously in the last six years and cited expanded research investments for better-tasting varieties.
“Obviously, the industry needs to learn how to compete internationally, which is one of their biggest challenges,” Campbell said Feb. 25. “They have to learn how to grow berries without methyl bromide and the biggest question facing the industry is solving the labor issue, which is why I’m in Washington, D.C., now.”
Campbell succeeded Shawn Crocker who resigned after the association’s board of directors placed Crocker on administrative leave. Crocker joined the association in 2007 after the board dismissed its longtime director, Charles “Chip” Hinton.
Campbell was also vice president of sales and marketing for Kerry’s Nursery in Homestead, Fla.