Verax Commodities LLC Enters Sugar Trade As New Participant In North America/USMCA Market

Published online: Jan 31, 2024 News
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By ChiniMandi

Chicago - Verax Commodities LLC (VERAX) announces the commencement of its sugar trading, processing and distribution activities as the newest entrant to the North American sugar market.

The company has established offices in  Chicago, IL (headquarters) with regional offices in Houston, TX, and Mexico City to support its business. 

VERAX’s initial investor group, each with extensive experience in the US/international sugar markets, has also reached an  agreement to acquire the operations of Chicago-based Pullman Sugar as part of the rollout and first phase of the new venture.

Established in 2006, Pullman Sugar owns large-scale industrial liquid sucrose production capacity, warehousing and transportation assets in Chicago, IL, as well as bulk handling, sugar packaging and powdered sugar manufacturing capabilities in  Houston. With this initial structure, VERAX generates the required synergies and scale between its trading platform and asset-based/value-added transformation infrastructure to successfully service growing sugar needs across the U.S., Mexico and  adjacent regional sugar markets. 

VERAX’s Board of Directors has appointed Mario A. Tobón, a 15-year veteran in the North American sugar market, as its  President and CEO to lead the direction of the company. Tobón has served in executive and senior trading roles with major sugar trading and food manufacturing companies during his career, most notably with London-based global merchant ED&F Man and Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut AG. He brings an impressive track record and focus within the USMCA and South  American sugar markets.

Tobón commented, “I am extremely humbled and excited to lead this amazing new venture. VERAX has attracted a complete team of talented  individuals, visionary investors and engaged stakeholders, all bringing specialized expertise. Together, we will position VERAX  to become an ideal commercial partner to those food companies seeking to transform their way of doing business within the  sugar industry.”  

VERAX also announced the appointment of Pedro L. Figueroa as the company’s Vice President of Sales (USA). Figueroa joined Tobón as part of the executive management team on Jan. 15, responsible for the company’s long term commercial growth strategy, business development and execution. Figueroa begins his 30th year in the sugar trade,  highlighted by a 5-year stint as Vice President of Sales/Marketing at Michigan Sugar Company, VP/International at ASR Group (Domino Foods, Inc.), and 16 years with ED&F Man’s Americas trading office in Miami, FL, heading the U.S. White Sugar desk. 

“I am honored by VERAX’s trust and confidence as I join the team in this important capacity,” Figueroa stated. “The North  American sugar market continues to evolve exponentially, bringing cross-border opportunities to service a very sophisticated  customer-base, where supply chain reliability, food safety, product quality and a customer-focused approach are paramount. VERAX’s global reach and deep market know-how, combined with in-house transformation capabilities in the U.S. will allow us to  service important needs in deficit areas and with sugar products that continue to show strong market demand.” 

Upon the closing of the Pullman Sugar transaction, Brandon Boomsma, Pullman’s President, will further bolster VERAX’s  executive ranks, joining the team as Chief Strategy Officer. “I am excited about the future and our world-class team at VERAX,”  said Boomsma. “The combination of Pullman’s production operations with VERAX’s trading platform is a natural step in  Pullman’s evolution.” Tobón added, “Brandon has been a great industry colleague for many years, and I can’t imagine anyone  better to help us plot VERAX’s future course.”