Speakers

 
JAMAL AL GHURAIR

Jamal Al Ghurair, Managing Director and Principal Shareholder of Al Khaleej Sugar (AKS), leads the largest and most energy efficient standalone sugar refinery in the world. Thanks to his vision and drive, Al Khaleej Sugar has expanded capacity from 2,400 tonnes per day in 1995 to over 7,000 tonnes per day, at present. The company’s success as a standalone refinery has surpassed all expectations due to his deep knowledge of the industry and close business relationships with tier one Brazilian suppliers, who have provided AKS with consistently high-quality raw sugar for several years. Al Khaleej Sugar currently contributes 3% of the world’s refined sugar production. Jamal is also the Chairman of Canal Sugar, an integrated agro-industrial project incorporating reclamation and cultivation of around 76,000 hectares. The integrated facility is the world’s largest sugar beet processing plant with an annual production capacity of 900,000 tonnes of premium white sugar. Jamal is also the Vice Chairman of Emirates Investment & Development PSC, a recognized UAE private shareholding firm with a comprehensive portfolio of investments. Concurrently, he manages his own group of companies.

 
JACOB ROBBINS

Jacob Robbins is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Emeterra, a Singapore-headquartered enterprise focussed on the food and agri sectors. With its strong emphasis on foodtech and agtech, Emeterra partners with promising companies and globally acclaimed research institutions on disruptive technologies. Its collaborations for novel ingredients address key gaps in the consumer landscape. Emeterra produces a wide range of value-added food – including sugars and sweeteners – for regional and multinational customers. Jacob is a Senior Adviser to Olympus Capital Asia, and also sits on the Boards of foodtech companies such as Ripple Foods. Previously, Jacob spent 20 years in global executive positions with The Coca-Cola Company. In his last role there as Managing Director, overseeing the principal global agricultural commodity spend of the company and its bottlers, he led the world’s largest supply chain of sugar and starch sweeteners, covering over 120 countries. Prior to that, as part of TAS within the Tata Group, he led Tata Steel’s international trading operations for soft commodities. Jacob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a degree in Management, complemented by programmes at Wharton and the Harvard Business School.

 
GEOVANE CONSUL

Geovane Consul is Chief Executive Officer of BP Bunge Bioenergia. Geovane started his career at Bunge in the food sector in the late 1980s, and went on to build a solid executive career. For a period, he was Chief Operating Officer Latin America and South Africa DuPont, before returning to Bunge to take on key executive roles that included Chief Operating Officer Agribusiness and Executive Vice President Sugar and Bioenergy. Geovane has served as the Chief Executive Officer of BP Bunge Bioenergia since the formation of the company in 2019, a joint venture between BP and Bunge’s bioenergy businesses in Brazil. BP Bunge Bioenergia is a leader in ethanol, bioelectricity and sugar, all with a strong focus on sustainability. Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, the company has the capacity, each harvest, to crush 32.4 million tonnes of sugarcane, and produce 1.7 billion litres / year of ethanol and 1.7 million tonnes of sugar, in addition to the generation of 1,400 GWh / year of bioenergy. Geovane has a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, followed by a post graduate degree in Business Management from IMD, Switzerland.

 
JONATHAN DRAKE

Jonathan Drake serves as the Technical Adviser for the Sugar division at Golden Agri-Resources. Throughout his career spanning over 35 years in the sugar trading industry, Jonathan has played a pivotal role in shaping and expanding the sugar business for leading companies such as Cargill and the RCMA Group. In 2012, he pioneered the establishment of the sugar trading product line for the RCMA Group, significantly contributing to its ascent as a prominent player in containerized flows of white sugar. This success culminated in the acquisition of the RCMA Group's sugar trading business by Golden Agri-Resources in 2019. Jonathan's contributions extend beyond business development – he also played a key role in founding The Dubai Sugar Conference and remains actively involved in its operations. Jonathan holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master's degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

 
DR CLAUDIU COVRIG

Dr Claudiu Covrig is Founder and Lead Agriculture Analyst of CovrigAnalytics, an independent provider of market research, analysis, forecasts, supply & demand, trade flows and policy information for the sugar and ethanol markets. Claudiu’s expertise includes market research, trade flows, forecasts, international arbitrages, futures and swaps trading combined with academic work focussed on management, economics and renewable energy markets and systems. He often serves as a speaker or chairman at international conferences. With over 18 years’ experience, prior to founding CovrigAnalytics, Claudiu worked as a market research analyst and consultant with S&P Global Platts and Kingsman in Switzerland, and traded futures and swaps with Sucden in Geneva. He was also a research associate and university assistant professor in Switzerland and Romania. Claudiu has a PhD degree from Transilvania University of Brasov, with a focus on renewable and conventional energy markets and systems. In addition, he has a Master’s degree in Engineering Design and Management of Renewable Energy Sources and a diploma in Economic Engineering.

 
MAURO S J ANGELO

Mauro S J Angelo is the Chief Executive Officer at Alvean. He started his career at The Boston Consulting Group and later moved to commodity markets at UBS (formerly Link Investimentos). In 2006, Mauro joined Copersucar in São Paulo as Sugar and Ethanol Trader. In early 2012, he became the Head of Raw Sugar Trading at Copersucar and continued in this position when Copersucar and Cargill formed Alvean in 2014. Since then, he has been based in Geneva. Mauro became Chief Commercial Officer at Alvean in 2019 and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2023. He also serves as Council Member at The Sugar Association of London (SAL) and is a Member of the World Sugar Committee at ICE Futures US. Mauro holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Finance and Economics.

 
ENRICO BIANCHERI

Enrico Biancheri is the Global Head of Sugar Platform for Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). Enrico started his career in sugar trading in 2003 at LDC in Brazil as a trader of sugar and ethanol. In 2009, with LDC’s spinoff of Biosev, the second largest sugarcane company in Brazil, he became the Commercial Manager of Biosev, looking after the hedging, marketing and logistics of sugar and ethanol. In 2011, he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Biosev overseeing the cane origination division as well as the marketing and risk management for sugar, ethanol and electricity produced by the company. In 2013, he was appointed a Board Member of UNICA, a position he held until 2016. That same year, Enrico moved back to LDC as the Head of Sugar Trading. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master of Science degree in Finance.

 
JOSE EDUARDO TOLEDO

Jose Eduardo Toledo is Head Trader – Sugar, at COFCO International. Prior to sugar, he was engaged in fundamental research on the soybean complex at ABIOVE. Eduardo began his career in sugar at Copersucar in 2003, moving to Noble Group in 2008. At Noble, he initially worked on originating sugar in Brazil. In 2012, Eduardo moved to the Stamford office in USA to assist in the coordination of the global physical book. Noble’s agricultural division was acquired by COFCO in 2014, and since 2018, he has been responsible for the sugar trading division for both physical sugar and proprietary trading. Eduardo holds a degree in International Relations from PUC-SP and an MBA from the University of São Paulo.

 
BRUNO TROMBELLI

Bruno Trombelli is Commercial Director at Raízen, where he is responsible for the sugar platform for both domestic and international markets. He has been actively involved with the company’s strategy to develop its international expansion, driving the change from a sugar producer in Brazil to an international player in the global sugar arena. Bruno has been working in the commodities industry since 2008. He worked for several companies such as Alcotra, Cosan, Vitol and Wilmar, covering sugar, vegetable oils, clean petroleum products and ethanol. He has held various positions spanning trading and supply to management, finance, M&A and strategy. Bruno is a graduate in Finance from Ibmec, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 
DIMITRI VARSANO

Dimitri Varsano is Co-Global Head of Sugar Trading at Sucden. He began his career in 2017 as a trader in Sucden Americas following sugar flows in the Latin America region. A year later, he joined Sucden Paris to implement physical and hedging strategies for the global raw sugar book, contributing to its expansion in the past five years. As of January 2024, Dimitri assumed the role of Co-Global Head of Sucden’s sugar trading activities. Alongside his role in sugar, since 2020, Dimitri is a member of the executive committee of Sucden Ventures, the entity dedicated to investing in innovative early-stage growth companies in the food and agricultural sector. He is a graduate of Babson College, Boston.

 
TRACEY ALLEN

Tracey Allen is Senior Commodities Strategist at J P Morgan in London. An agricultural economist, Tracey develops the firm’s fundamental and price outlooks across agricultural markets, in addition to her cross-commodity publications. She has worked in an analytical and advisory capacity across global agribusiness from paddock to plate, along with institutional investors and policy makers, and is regularly cited in financial markets press. Prior to joining the global research team of J P Morgan, Tracey was a member of Rabobank’s Research & Advisory team in London and Sydney. She spent much of her early career in the field of climate change and water economics, and her family’s farming background in eastern Australia drives her passion for the agricultural sector.

 

 

 
JEFF BAUML

Jeff Bauml is Managing Director of J Bauml & Co. Starting his career at Philipp Brothers in 1971 as an intern, Jeff ultimately became a Senior Vice President specializing in tropical commodities (coffee, sugar and cocoa), while at the same time having management responsibilities for Latin America operations. After leaving the firm in 1989, he developed a new service concept for the Sugar Trade – one stop brokerage for futures, physicals and freight. Jeff has been an arbiter for the World Sugar Committee of ICE, and was appointed to serve on a US Federal Court panel involving sugar. He has also founded not-for-profit organizations which provide support and aid to ‘at risk’ communities throughout the United States.

 
STEFAN UHLENBROCK

Stefan Uhlenbrock is Lead – Soft Commodities Research at S&P Global Commodity Insights, focussing on sugar, coffee and cocoa. He has over 20 years of experience researching and writing specialist analysis covering the sugar and coffee industries. Stefan oversees several reports, is involved in the company’s supply and demand projections for these commodities and advises clients on developments in global markets. Based in Hamburg, Germany, he appears regularly as a speaker, moderator or panellist at conferences across the world to discuss matters related to commodities markets. Stefan joined F O Licht in 2003, which became part of IHS Markit in July 2019 and then S&P Global in February 2022, through the latter’s merger with IHS Markit. He previously also worked in the areas of grains and tea. Stefan holds a Master of Economics from the University of Münster.

 
ANDY DUFF

Andy Duff is Rabobank’s Global Strategist for Sugar and also the Head of the bank’s South America Food & Agribusiness research team, based in São Paulo, Brazil. He is responsible for the bank’s analysis of international and national sugar markets and for research relating to specific transactions involving sugar. Before joining Rabobank in January 2001, Andy worked as a specialist in sugar for LMC International. Andy has a BA (Hons) degree in Applied Biology from Cambridge University and a Master’s in Agricultural Economics from Reading University.

 
MARIO BARBOSA

Mario Barbosa is Head of Sugar Platform at Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) in Brazil, as well as Director of TEAG, the main sugar export terminal for LDC, a joint venture with Cargill. Mario started his career in commodity trading in 2001 as a trainee at Cargill, in its grains & oilseeds business in São Paulo. In 2005, he moved into sugar at Cargill’s Geneva office as a Futures Trader and later as a Senior Trader back in Brazil. Mario joined the Noble Group in 2010, and from 2013 was Commercial Director of the sugar milling business, participating in the acquisition of the Cerradinho mills and the construction of the Votuporanga transshipment terminal. He joined LDC in early 2019 where he is responsible for the sugar, ethanol and power trading business in Brazil, as well as the mandate of growing the company’s origination business since the exit of LDC’s sugar milling business, with the sale of Biosev in 2021. Mario holds an undergraduate degree in Agriculture Engineering from ESALQ, University of São Paulo, and an MBA from FGV – Faculdade Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil.

 
RICARDO BUSATO CARVALHO

Ricardo Busato Carvalho is Commercial and Origination Director at BP Bunge Bioenergia. With around 25 years of experience in executive positions in the sugar and bioenergy sector, Ricardo has held positions of increasing responsibility, gained expertise in global markets and led the commercial function. Since 2019, in his current role at BP Bunge Bioenergia, he is in charge of the trading & logistics and agricultural business areas with responsibilities that span market intelligence, sugar, ethanol, CBios, bioelectricity and biomass, as well as the management of sugarcane suppliers and partners. Ricardo is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Paraná, he has a degree in Agribusiness Management from the Agronomic Institute of Paraná and an MBA in Business Administration from Dom Cabral Foundation.

 
COLIN ILES

Colin Iles is Executive Manager, Marketing at Viterra and part of its global executive management team responsible for both the sugar and cotton trade businesses. Colin is based at the company’s head office in Rotterdam, where he has lived and worked for the past 11 years. Before Viterra, Colin spent 16 years with Cargill working in a range of trading roles in the UK, East and Southern Africa, USA and Switzerland. Throughout his career he has contributed to many industry bodies, most notably sitting on the Boards of the International Cotton Association and the American Cotton Shippers Association as well as serving on the ICE raw sugar and cotton futures committees.

 
KONA HAQUE

Kona Haque joined ED&F Man in May 2014 as Group Head of Research, responsible for the company’s commodity and macroeconomic research team (including Volcafe Coffee). She joined from Macquarie Bank where she was responsible for agriculture and soft commodities research for seven years. Prior to that, Kona spent four years as Senior Commodities Editor / Economist at the Economist Group. She has also worked for a shipping consultancy as Director of Bulk Commodities and spent four years at Metal Bulletin Research, specializing in base metals. Her other experiences include working as an economist for a grains market information provider and with the United Nations in Rome, Italy. Kona has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Reading University.

 
JAN LAMBREGTS

Jan Lambregts is the Head of RaboResearch Global Economics & Markets at Rabobank. He oversees a worldwide team of analysts and strategists who cover macro, FX, rates, credit, agri-commodities and energy markets for key clients. Before his move to London in 2009 to head up the global team, Jan lived and worked in Singapore and Hong Kong for seven years, covering macro, FX and rates strategy for Rabobank’s clients, with particular focus on Japan and China. A cum laude graduate of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, Jan holds a Master’s degree in Micro / Macro Economics, with further specializations in finance and international trade.

 
LUIZ FERNANDES

Luiz Fernandes is Global Head of Hedges at Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). Luiz has more than 12 years of experience in the areas of sugar futures trading and market intelligence. Starting his career in sugar in 2012 with LDC in Brazil, Luiz moved to the market intelligence division of Biosev SA the following year. In 2015, he joined BTG Pactual in Singapore to oversee Far East sugar research. Luiz moved back to Biosev in 2016, as a Senior Futures Trader. In 2018, he became the Futures Trading and Market Intelligence Manager, responsible for Biosev’s hedging strategy, spanning sugar, ethanol and power trading. Luiz joined LDC’s sugar derivatives trading team in 2020, and was appointed to his current role in 2022. He has a degree in Economics and an Executive MBA from IESE, University of Navarra.

 
DAVID BRANDES

David Brandes is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Planetary Group, a company that builds, owns and operates a global network of fermentation facilities to produce bio-based products at scale. Planetary sees strategic synergies between sugar producers and foodtech, with opportunities to convert sugar into proteins. David previously held roles as Chief Commercial Officer of Migros Online, Switzerland's largest food retailer, Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and at Proctor & Gamble. He was also the Co-Founder of the cell-based meat brand Peace of Meat in Belgium, which he successfully exited through an acquisition by a strategic NASDAQ-listed company. David’s passion revolves around doing well by doing good, for the planet, for animals and for innovation. He believes that evolving our manufacturing systems through biotechnology and AI is a historical opportunity to secure planetary health. David has Master of Science degrees from both University of California, Berkeley as well as Technische Universität Berlin.

 
FRANCISCO DURET

Francisco Duret is the General Manager of Control Union Brasil. He has 25 years of experience in the agro commodities industry. Since the time he started in Argentina, Francisco has been part of the company's execution team which he led. Later he became the Operations Manager in the San Lorenzo office, the largest port and the centre for agro commodities exports in Argentina. In 2015, he moved to Brazil where he took over as Director for the Agro Division of Control Union, bringing his experience to lead the business in the most important for agro commodity producing country in the region. Francisco is part of the company's global commodities and fumigation expert group, and one of the three directors of the Association of Brazilian Supervisors (ASCB).

 
SEBASTIAAN MERTEN

Sebastiaan Merten is Managing Director at Peterson Thailand, a partner company of Control Union. He is an expert in sustainable sourcing, compliance and water management. Sebastiaan started his career as a trainee for Peterson Control Union, where he cultivated a deep understanding of sustainable business practices. This was put into practice when as Programme Manager, he employed sustainability drives for major clients in Thailand and neighbouring countries. In his current role, Sebastiaan develops initiatives that help companies adopt sustainable practices within their supply chain and assess their environmental impact. Leveraging a global team of experts, he implements impactful changes, addressing critical environmental challenges and advocating ethical and sustainable procurement processes. Passionate about promoting environmentally responsible strategies, Sebastiaan is dedicated to building a more sustainable future for businesses and communities worldwide.

 
ANUP KUMAR

Anup Kumar is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sucden India. In this role, since 2019, he has been instrumental in making Sucden the merchant of choice for sugar mills, industrials, and public distribution networks across India. Sucden India connects its varied portfolio of suppliers to global and domestic buyers, and aims to be an efficient supply chain participant, focussing on controlled exposures and financial returns. It delivers these objectives through a motivated high-performance team. Prior to joining Sucden, Anup spent over two decades with Olam International Singapore in different roles, the last of which was as the head of their white sugar trading team. A voracious reader and an eager traveller, Anup is a Chemical Engineer from IIT Benares and an alumnus of IIM Calcutta.

 
SANJEEV CHOPRA

Sanjeev Chopra is Secretary, Food & Public Distribution of the Government of India, since 2022. He is also the Chairman for the Council of the International Sugar Organization as India assumes the chair for 2024. Sanjeev joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1990. He has held several positions in state and central governments. In his current role, he deals with matters relating to foodgrain management of the central pool stocks. Sanjeev works on policy formulation for the sugar and edible oil industries. One of his major responsibilities is administration of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), which provides coverage to over 800 million people with subsidized fooodgrains. Previously, he served as Agriculture Production Commissioner and Secretary of Departments such as Home, Industries, General Administration and Agriculture in the State Government of Odisha. Sanjeev holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce, an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, a degree in Law from Utkal University and an MSc in Urban Planning from The London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds the prestigious Hubert H Humphrey fellowship from Cornell and the Robert S McNamara fellowship from the World Bank.

 
DR MANDAVA PRABHAKAR RAO

Dr Mandava Prabhakar Rao is President of the Indian Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA). He has been the Chairman of the NSL Group and NSL Sugars, Hyderabad, India – a conglomerate covering seeds, textiles, sugar, infrastructure and renewable power. He has also established several collaborations between Indian companies and multinationals, elevating farmer profitabilty. Prabhakar plays leading roles in several industrial and educational bodies. He is the President of the National Seed Association of India (NSAI) and Chairperson of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). He is a Member of the National Agricultural Education Accreditation Board, the Cotton Advisory Board, the Textiles Committee of the Ministry of Textiles of the Government of India, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority, the Central Seed Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of India, the Andhra Pradesh State Council and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Prabhakar represents India on the Board of the International Seed Federation. Prabhakar has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by Chandrasekhar Azar University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur.

 
RAVI GUPTA

Ravi Gupta is Director on the Board of Shree Renuka Sugars, a prominent global entity specializing in sugar and ethanol production. With a career spanning 32 years in the agricultural commodities industry, Ravi has held pivotal roles, including that of Managing Director at Noble Agri (now a part of COFCO International) in India, Chief Executve Officer of Australian Wheat Board in India, President of Bajaj Hindusthan and Vice President at Louis Dreyfus in India. A respected figure in the global sugar industry, he plays a key role in shaping the ethanol policy in India. Ravi also serves as Co-Chairman of the committee on WTO, Trade & Investment at the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), a Member of the Task Force of the Sugar and Ethanol Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Vice Chairman of All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA). Additionally, he is an Executive Member of the Indian Sugar and Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) – formerly known as the Indian Sugar Mills Association – and an Executive Committee Member of the West Indian Sugar Mills Association (WISMA).

 
VISHAL NIRANI

Vishal Nirani is Director at Nirani Sugars. Under his leadership, the company has attained remarkable growth, becoming one of India's premier sugar corporations and earning global acclaim for its contributions to the industry. Vishal’s expertise lies in running the company's operations with utmost efficiency, consistently expanding its product portfolio and championing sustainable manufacturing practices. He also holds pivotal positions in several other prominent ventures. As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of TruAlt Bioenergy, a flagship bioenergy enterprise in Asia, Vishal plays an important part in shaping the region's renewable energy landscape. His entrepreneurial ventures include founding roles in Accutrade Global and VR International in Dubai. A staunch advocate for rural economic development, he is committed to fostering cyclical economic structures that empower communities. Vishal has a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University London.

 
AVANTIKA SARAOGI

Avantika Saraogi is Executive Director at Balrampur Chini Mills, India. She is the fourth-generation family member to enter the company. Avantika is passionate about cane operations – sugarcane development, procurement, grower relations, strategy, technology and mechanization. She also takes a keen interest in further value addition to products and byproducts of the industry, and truly believes that sugarcane is the new oil – something she hopes to make a reality and demonstrate to the world. Sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact of sugarcane cultivation as well as the entire sugar mill complex is another area that she is dedicated to and actively pursues. Avantika graduated cum laude with BA Honours from Scripps College in Claremont, California, USA.

 

 
FRANK JENKINS

Frank Jenkins is President of JSG Commodities, a brokerage and consultancy located in South Norwalk, Connecticut. He has over 40 years of commodity market experience. JSG Commodities is active in the sugar, cocoa and coffee futures and options markets in New York and London, as well as the physical sugar markets for both raw and refined sugar. Prior to founding JSG in 1993, Frank was a Vice President with the Merrill Lynch Private Client Group in Manhattan. He started his career in the sugar industry with the Man Group in New York. Frank regularly addresses industry forums, he has been a Keynote Speaker at the International Sugar Organization Sugar Seminar and at several USDA sponsored forums. He has served as President of the Sugar Club of New York and is currently the Chairman of the ICE Domestic Sugar Committee. Frank is a graduate of Boston University.

 
TOBY COHEN

Toby Cohen is Vice President Market Analysis at ASR Group, where his team is responsible for the analysis of commodity market risks affecting the group’s refineries in North America and Europe. ASR Group is a vertically integrated cane refiner with a leading presence in USA, Canada and Europe. The company also farms sugarcane and owns sugar mills in Mexico and Belize. Toby joined ASR in 2014. After starting his career in commodities with CZ in 1990, he moved from physical trading to market analysis in 2002 and was appointed to the Board of CZ in 2006. Based in London, Toby has been a regular speaker at commodity industry events throughout his career.

 
MIKE GORRELL

Mike Gorrell is a Senior Vice President at US Sugar Corporation, responsible for commodity trading and sourcing at the Savannah sugar refinery. Mike was President and Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Sugar Company from 2012 to 2022 when Imperial was owned by Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). Prior to that, he worked with LDC in Geneva, from 2007 to 2012, in sugar trading management roles. Mike began his career at Cargill in 1993 and moved to Cargill’s Sugar Trading desk in Geneva in 1998. Throughout the years, he has served on the ICE World Sugar Committee and as a Board Member of various sugar-related companies and organizations, including Biosev SA, Brazil, All Asian Countertrade, Philippines and the Sweetener Users Association, USA. Mike currently serves as Chairman of The Sugar Association, the scientific voice of the USA sugar industry whose mission is to educate a variety of audiences about real sugar from sugarcane and sugar beet, and its role in a balanced diet. Mike graduated from Ohio State University.

 
MICHAEL LEVITZ

Michael Levitz is Sugar Trading Manager at Sucden Americas Corporation, responsible for the physical trading in the Americas excluding Brazil. Michael started his career in sugar in 1982 as a physical broker in London. He joined ED&F Man in 1996 working in the London, New York and Miami offices until 2018, focussing primarily on the sourcing of sugar from Latin America. After working for a couple of years at Glencore, he joined the Sucden Group in 2020. Michael holds a BS and an MBA from The Ohio State University.

 
GARETH FORBER

Gareth Forber is Director Sugar Research at GlobalData. He is the editor of GlobalData’s sugar market outlook publications and is responsible for conducting studies for clients, such as blue-chip companies, multilateral institutions and government departments. This work includes the analysis of sugar industries and markets around the world, feasibility studies for new sugar projects and providing policy advice. Gareth has also conducted a number of in-depth studies analyzing issues such as the outlook for the world sugar market to 2025 and the future landscape of the EU sugar market. Prior to GlobalData, Gareth was Director of Sugar Research at LMC International.

 
BHARATI BALAJI

Bharati Balaji is Director – Legal & Compliance, at the Indian Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA). With over two decades of legal expertise, Bharati’s diverse roles included practising in the Supreme Court of India to making impactful contributions in the corporate sector. At ISMA, she specializes in regulatory compliance, policymaking and strategic planning. She proactively engages in the intersection of sugar and health, and is a speaker and panellist at various events on the subject. Bharati was honoured as one of the top 10 Chief Legal Officers in India by the Women Entrepreneur Magazine in 2023, in recognition of her outstanding contributions. Her journey underscores a commitment to excellence, blending a robust legal foundation with leadership acumen, consistently adding significant value to the teams and organizations she serves.

 
ANNIE DENNY

Annie Denny is Director General of the World Sugar Research Organization (WSRO). Annie has worked in nutrition roles for over 20 years, spanning the food industry, food retail, charity roles and media work. She is a passionate believer in communicating science to individuals in understandable language. At WSRO, Annie’s motto is “Research isn’t finished until it’s communicated”. Annie joined WSRO as Director General in 2020. She leads a team of nutrition scientists who research the latest evidence on sugars and health, keeping WSRO’s members up to speed with international scientific and health policy developments on sugars and health. Annie trained in Nutrition at Newcastle University in the UK and holds a Master’s in International Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 
GREGORY MERRAN

Gregory Merran is Chief Investment Officer at Sucden Ventures and Head of Portfolio Management at Sucres et Denrées. As head of Portfolio Management, he oversees the trading and risk management of arbitrage positions on vanilla and complex derivatives across the four main asset classes. As Managing Director of Sucden Ventures, the corporate venture capital entity of the group, he is building a portfolio of investments in agri-food-tech startups. This portfolio spans three verticals – alternative proteins, novel ingredients and plant and crop sciences. Gregory also sits on the Sucden Financial Board in charge of business development. Before joining Sucden in 2012, he served as volatility and correlation trader for Merrill Lynch, and subsequently as the head of flow exotics trading at J P Morgan in London. Gregory is an alumnus of Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris Saclay, Sciences Po Paris and Harvard Business School.

 
KAPIL NEMA

Kapil Nema is the Assistant Executive Director of Sales for the Sugar Business at Dalmia Bharat Sugar & Industries. During his almost two decades-long career in the sugar industry, he has held pivotal roles in prominent organizations and made significant contributions. In his current role, he continues to leverage his extensive experience and expertise to drive sales and strategic growth initiatives. Prior to his tenure at Dalmia Bharat Sugar & Industries, Kapil held key positions at several organizations, including Shree Renuka Sugars (a Wilmar Group company), Sucden, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Adani Enterprises and The State Trading Corporation of India. His ability to implement streamlined processes and harmonize regional market insights with global strategies has consistently enhanced profitability and mitigated risks. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in International Business.

 
KANNIKA VONGKUSOLKIT

Kannika Vongkusolkit is Vice President – Trading Business and Risk Management in the International Marketing department at Mitr Phol Sugar, Thailand. She joined the company in 2009 as a researcher in the Futures Market department. Kannika later moved to the International Marketing team, handling export sales to major traders as well as overseas industrial buyers. After gaining experience in various departments within the company, including Finance and Corporate Sustainability divisions, she moved back to the International Marketing team in 2022 to head the Raw Sugar Trading and Futures Trading team. Having worked closely with cane farmers, she believes that building relationships with them is the key to sustainable cane supply which in turn leads to sustainable growth in the business. Kannika started her career as an analyst for a local market research company specializing in consumer products. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (English Programme) from Thammasat University in Thailand and a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Bath, UK.

 
KIRAN WADHWANA

Kiran Wadhwana is Director of Comdex India. With over 38 years in the sugar industry, Kiran has considerable experience in farming, manufacturing and trading. He has served on the Executive Committee of ISMA as well as the Board of Indian EXIM Corporation. Currently, Kiran is on the Board of Bonsucro and a Senior Advisor to International Sugar Organisation. He has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Houston and an MBA from the Stephen M Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

 
CHARLES FUNNELL

Charles Funnell is Managing Director of CF Commodities, a risk management and trading advisory company, based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Founded in January 2022, the company caters to well established industrial clients and management consultancies. Its core services include commodity risk management strategy and governance; physical and futures advisory; and forex and freight risk management. Charles has extensive experience in commodity risk management, and physical and futures trading across soft commodities (sugar, grains and vegetable oils). He has held senior trading and management roles in sugar at the South African Sugar Association (SASA), Cargill, Merchant Commodity Fund and served as Head of Global Soft Commodity Risk at Unilever. Charles holds a degree in French and Politics from the University of Bristol.

 
LUCA MEIERHOFER

Luca Meierhofer is the Global Head of Sugar Cash Trading at Louis Dreyfus Company. He joined the company in 2017, and is based in Geneva. Luca started his career with Cargill in 1996, covering all the different aspects of the sugar trading business, from hedging to origination and destination marketing. Sixteen years later, he joined Bunge as the Head of Raw Sugar where he developed the business for over five years, while taking over the risk as well. Luca holds a degree in Economics and Finance from HEC Geneva, Switzerland.

 
JEREMY AUSTIN

Jeremy Austin, General Director of Sucden do Brasil, has been in charge of the company since its inception in 1994. He started working with Sucres et Denrees in October 1985, covering the Brazil market and in 1988, was part of the whole privatization process. Jeremy moved from Paris to Brazil in 2003 to be more closely involved with the sugar industry. He was a Board Member of the FBA (2000 – 2005) and Tereos International (2010 – 2016). He is also a member of AEXA. Born and educated in UK, Jeremy studied Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, and in 1985 graduated from Oxford University with a Master of Arts and Fluency in French.

 
ALVARO RUIZ

Alvaro Ruiz is the Chief Executive Officer of Ingenio La Unión and Vice President of the Guatemalan Sugar Association, ASAZGUA. Based in the south coast of Guatemala, Ingenio La Unión is an agro-industrial company that has been producing sugarcane, sugar, honey as well as electricity for 52 years. From 1997 to 2006, Alvaro was Executive Vice President and later Executive President of Koramsa, an organization with more than 20,000 employees. Between 1987 and 1997, he worked at Ingenio Pantaleon in the areas of purchasing, strategy and operations. Prior to that, he was Plant Manager of Procasa for four years. With a career spanning over 30 years in large industrial companies, Alvaro has vast experience across the business spectrum. He has been the Director of Chamber of Agriculture and on the Board of Directors of the Center for Action of Corporate Social Responsibility in Guatemala CentraRSE since 2013, where he was the President from 2016 to 2017. Currently, he is the President of the Board of Directors of ICC Climate Change Institute.

 
DR LUCIANA TORREZAN SONCIN

Dr Luciana Torrezan Soncin is Head of Research at BP Bunge Bioenergia. She joined the company in 2023, and has over 17 years of experience in commodities analysis, covering markets such as sugar, grains & oilseeds, biofuels and electricity. Luciana previously held roles as Global Manager – Sugar Analytics, at S&P Global Commodity Insights and Global Head of Sugar and Ethanol Research at Tropical Research Services. She also worked for Bunge, as the Head of Research for Brazil Sugar & Ethanol and Grains & Oilseeds and has been a sugar market analyst at Copersucar and StoneX (formerly INTL FCStone Inc). Luciana holds a Bachelor´s degree in Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Applied Economics from Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ/USP).

 
STEPHEN GELDART

Stephen Geldart is Head of Analysis at CZ. Since joining CZ in 2008, Stephen has been leading the analysis team which provides leading-edge insights into the products CZ handles across the agriproduct, food, ingredients packaging and energy sectors. The team underpins CZ’s strategic consultancy work, supports the physical trading & corporate finance businesses and feeds into risk management services for major commodity producers, processors and end-users – all of which are delivered via CZ’s online platform. Before joining CZ, Stephen began his career in the oil refining industry. He holds an MSci in Chemistry from Imperial College London.

 
VIACHESLAV CHUK

Viacheslav Chuk is the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Board Member of Astarta-Kyiv. Astarta-Kyiv is one of the largest sugar producers and vertically integrated agro-industrial holdings in Ukraine. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Since 1993, Astarta-Kyiv has proven to be a reliable and trustworthy partner and supplier, committed to best international standards in terms of quality, innovation and sustainability. Viacheslav joined the company in 2011, and has held various positions in commercial strategy focussed on value-added products as well as expanding into new markets. Viacheslav studied Law and Finance at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and graduated from the Ukrainian Corporate Governance Academy in a programme in Corporate Governance, co-created with the INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre.

 
OLIVIER LEDUCQ

Olivier Leducq is the Chief Executive Officer of Tereos, a position he assumed in September 2023. He joined Tereos in 2015 as Head of Tereos France, in 2019, he was responsible for all sugar and renewables activities in Europe and was appointed Group Head of Trade, Sales & Marketing in 2022. Olivier spent most of his career in the metallurgical industry, where he held financial, commercial and industrial responsibilities. At the Constellium Group – previously Pechiney and Alcan – he was Financial Controller for the metals business, before heading up sales for aluminium sheet products in the food and drinks cans sector. He also managed several of the Alcan Group’s operational industrial units and led operational excellence initiatives. Olivier is a graduate of HEC Paris.

 
DR FRED ZELLER

Dr Fred Zeller is Chief Executive Officer of the German cooperative SZVG – Südzucker's majority shareholder – since 1995, and Managing Director of the beet growers’ association VSZ, since 2010. Before assuming his current role, Fred worked for five years as an Export and Sales Manager for Südzucker, after having finished his doctoral thesis – a macroeconomic analysis of trade flows on the world sugar market. He holds a degree in Agricultural Economics from the Technical University of Munich, where he remained for two years after his studies, as a postgraduate researcher at the Institute for Agricultural Policy.

 
YARIV COHEN

Yariv Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Ignite Power, is renowned for his transformative impact on the off-grid energy sector since co-founding the company in 2014. Under his leadership, the company has revolutionized the home-solar market, garnering accolades from dignitaries like Kofi Annan. Before spearheading Ignite, Yariv served as President of Camco Clean Energy, overseeing the development and execution of over 180 renewable energy projects valued at US$ 1 billion. With over two decades of experience as an impact investor and executive, he has led high-growth companies across 20 countries, contributing significantly to climate change initiatives. A serial entrepreneur and project developer, Yariv boasts a portfolio of climate change assets exceeding US$ 1 billion, collaborating with prominent clients, governments and multinational organizations. He is also a distinguished international speaker, author and business strategist, lauded for his expertise in the nexus of emerging business models and geo-economies. Yariv has an MBA degree as well as a Master’s degree in research on negotiations from the London School of Business.

 
CARLOS DE MATHIAS MARTINS JUNIOR

Carlos de Mathias Martins Junior is the Chief Executive Officer of BlockC. The company was founded by Carlos in 2019, providing a platform that offers decarbonization solutions to corporations. He has been an active investor in carbon credits and renewable energy for over 20 years. Carlos is also the Founding Partner of Eqao and Ecopart, which are Brazilian companies focussed on the development and financing of renewable energy and emissions reduction projects. Since early 2000, Eqao has advised corporate clients in matters related to climate change and carbon credits, while Ecopart has invested in renewable energy companies spanning wind to biogas, biomass to energy. More recently, Carlos was appointed Chairman of the Board of ACX Brazil, a leading environmental asset trading platform. Carlos holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of São Paulo and an MBA from Columbia Business School. 

 
WILLIAM PAZOS

William (Bill) Pazos is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ACX, the leading global digital exchange that powers the future of environmental markets. Bill is a carbon market pioneer who has managed emerging markets and high yield investments for more than 25 years and currently serves as Director of Kuber Energy, a renewable energy and climate finance advisory company in Singapore. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Standard Bank, where he was the Global Head of Carbon Origination and Finance, and a Member of the Board of Standard Merchant Bank, Singapore. As the Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of Ecoinvest Carbon SA, a JV with Bunge SA, he built one of the world’s largest aggregators of carbon credits. In his early career he was a bond trader at J P Morgan Chase in New York as well as a partner at Dartley. Bill holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics with a concentration in Mathematics from The College of Wooster, Ohio, and an MBA in International Management from ASU’s Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.

 
ALFREDO NICASTRO

Alfredo Nicastro is Senior Vice President – Global Head of Carbon Markets at StoneX. In this capacity, he provides leadership to the climate solutions division, focussing on helping clients access carbon markets and achieve their climate mitigation goals. Prior to joining StoneX, Alfredo served as Senior Vice President of Operations at MGM Innova Group, a pioneer of the carbon markets and one of the large developers of offsets under compliance and voluntary markets, leading project origination, development and climate financing throughout the world. Previously, he was Executive Vice President at CH2M Hill, where he led the environmental, energy and industrial systems business in Latin America. Alfredo is a senior climate and environmental professional with expertise and proven record in the development and monetization of climate mitigation projects. He holds a Civil Engineering degree from the School of Engineering of Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, Brazil, and postgraduate qualifications from the University of Michigan, USA.

 
ALEXANDER STEWART

Alexander Stewart is Head Trader – White Sugar at Raízen. He joined Raízen in 2020, following his role as a Director and Co-Founder of Abercore, a London-based sugar marketing and trading firm with operations in the UK, Africa and Asia. At Abercore, Alexander focussed on the company’s business in Africa. He started his career in sugar as a trader at CZ in 2005. During his time there, he held various positions including that of General Manager of the Indian office and Head of the Africa and Middle East business. Alexander has a degree in Geography from Durham University.

 
JASPREET BINDRA

Jaspreet Bindra is the Managing Director and Founder of Tech Whisperer UK, which does advisory and consulting work on digital transformation and digital technologies, such as AI, Blockchain and the Future of Work. He is the author of the best-selling book ‘The Tech Whisperer: On Digital Transformation and the Technologies that Enable it', and writes a fortnightly column on technology and business for Mint. Jaspreet was recognized as the inaugural ‘Digitalist of the Year’ by Mint and SAP in 2017; he is a Global Moderator / Educator for Harvard Business School, Educator for Duke, Expert at Singularity University, Visiting Faculty at Ashoka University and was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Indian School of Business. He started his career with the Tata Group, as part of TAS, and later was the Group Chief Digital Officer at the Mahindra Group, a US$ 20 billion conglomerate, and a Regional Director at Microsoft India. Jaspreet is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA in International Business, followed by a Master’s in AI, Ethics and Society from Cambridge University.

 
ANAND MAHURKAR

Anand Mahurkar is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Findability Sciences, a company which aims to equip enterprises with ‘The Ability to Find Information’. Headquartered in Boston, Findability Sciences progressed technologically in the AI and Data solutions space, adding Cognitive Computing and Machine Learning technologies to its repertoire. In 2017, he led the company to form a JV with Softbank and a Series A funding by the bank. Anand’s technological prowess and understanding of AI and Data earned him places on the IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner Advisory Board, Forbes Technology Council and the Fast Company Executive Board. In 2021, Financial Times recognized Findability Sciences as one of the fastest-growing companies in USA and INC Magazine recognized the company as being among the fastest-growing American private companies in 2020. Findability Sciences was also recognized in the AI & Data category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Anand is a Charter Member of TiE – Boston, where he mentors budding entrepreneurs. He has a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

 
GUILLERMO MEDINA

Guillermo Medina is Chief Financial and Strategy Officer at Pantaleon Sugar Holdings, where he manages assets worth approximately US$ 1.8 billion, steering the company’s financial strategy across USA, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Previously, he was Co-Chief Investment Officer at Applied Resources, Chief Investment Officer at Spectrum and Chief Disruption Officer at TPG Quest. Guillermo embraces the role of disruptor, driving transformation and aligning growth with world-class operational practices. An active venture investor, he is passionate about propelling innovation and leveraging technology, particularly in Artificial Intelligence, to optimize shareholder value. Guillermo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada, a Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Business from Mays Business School – Texas A&M University, followed by an executive programme in Corporate Level Strategy from Harvard Business School. 

 
THIERRY SONGEUR

Thierry Songeur is Managing Director at Sucden in Paris, a position he assumed in 2019. He first joined the Sucden Group in Brazil in 1986, after a brief experience in auditing with Coopers and Lybrand in France, and then in banking with Banco Frances & Brasileiro in Brazil. Thierry was a rice trader in Paris from 1988 until 1992. Following a short stint with Gyma International, France, he rejoined Sucden in 1996 on the sugar desk at its Paris headquarters, covering various sugar markets in Eastern Europe and Africa. A year later, he moved to Sucden Americas in Miami as President and Chief Executive Officer. Thierry spent the following 22 years leading the group’s sugar trading activity in the Americas, opening offices in Peru, Mexico and Chile. He became a member of the Group Management Board in 2010. Thierry graduated from Rouen Business School in France in 1983.

 
DIEGO HERRERA

Diego Herrera is Chief Executive Officer of the Pantaleon Group, a family held corporation founded in 1849, with interests in sugar production, energy and commercial real estate. The group currently employs over 20,000 people and operates in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Colombia. Prior to Pantaleon, Diego was Managing Partner at Atlas Vivienda, a Mexican real estate development company, where he remains a Board Member. He has also worked for six years with BNP Paribas in New York. Diego has a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree from the London Business School.

 
PAUL MESTERS

Paul Mesters is Chief Executive Officer of Cosun Beet Company, the sugar beet processor in the Netherlands and a Member of the Board of Royal Cosun. A farmer cooperative of around 9,000 members, Royal Cosun has a turnover of € 3 billion, 4,400 employees in 29 production locations across nine countries and operates through the following business groups – Aviko (potato specialties and frozen french fries), Cosun Beet Company (sugar and other products from sugar beet), Duynie Group (animal feed and agro co-products), Sensus (chicory root specialties) and SVZ (fruit concentrates). Paul has more than 25 years of experience in the food ingredients business. He served as President of the European Society for Sugar Technology (ESST) from 2015 to 2017, and is currently President of CEFS (Comité Européen des Fabricants de Sucre). Among his other roles, Paul is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Limako, a Member of the Board of IRS (Dutch sugar beet research centre) and Member of the Board of Primary Food Processors (PFP), the association for the European primary food processing industry. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology from HAS Den Bosch and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Twente.

 
SAMIR SOMAIYA

Samir Somaiya is the Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries and President of Somaiya Vidyavihar. He is the current President of Indian Merchants Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Previously, he was the President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (2009), and the Chairman (Western Region) of the Indian Chemical Council from 2006 to 2008. With sales of over US$ 240 million, Godavari Biorefineries is engaged in the manufacture of sugar, ethanol, renewable energy, chemicals, biogas and compost, all from agricultural resources. More than 70% of the company’s inputs are from renewable resources. The company works extensively with 20,000 small farmers in over 200 villages to help improve productivity, yields and standard of living. Samir holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, as well as a Master’s degree and a BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, where he is a visiting instructor. He is a recipient of the American Institute of Chemists Award (1990) and of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Award for Scholastic Achievement (1989). Samir was made Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy in 2022.