Sweet on Planning

Feature Article | June 16, 2011 by Johannes Frevert

azucarera_ebro_sugar

All children and most adults can attest to this: Sugar makes our daily lives a little sweeter. It also forms the basis of an economic sector that employs around 180,000 people in the European Union alone. Produced from beets or tropical sugarcane, sugar is sent to the food industry in sacks weighing nearly a ton and a half before going to consumers in cubes and other forms. Azucarera Ebro – Spain’s largest sugar producer with some 1,000 employees – manufactures 700,000 tons annually of the sweet crystals at its four factories.

“The times when we easily maintained a market share of over 60% are over,” admits Marcel Castells Carner. He has been in the industry for 30 years working in production and human resources prior to his current position as CIO of Azucarera Ebro. “In 2006, new sugar market regulations went into effect in the E.U. They’ve caused the reference prices of sugar to fall, made it easier to import cheap cane sugar from overseas, and encouraged companies to stop growing sugar beets,” Castells explains.

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