Our founding partners sold their first bag of sugar way back in 1952. Sucden has subsequently grown from that small firm and is today a truly global soft commodities trading group.
Through it all, we have proudly remained faithful to our values of ingenuity, audacity, integrity and sustainability. See our milestones in Sucden's history below.
In Morocco, at the end of the second world war, Maurice Varsano and Jacques Roboh began a business buying and selling sugar, tea and salt. Success provided the funds to move to Paris in 1952 and launch Sucres et Denrées.
“Over the years, our employees, clients, partners, suppliers, bankers, charterers and numerous service providers have all played a part in our history. Each has been essential in their own way. On behalf of everyone at Sucden, I would like to say thank you for helping to make Sucden the success it is today.”
By 1955 the company had attracted the heart of the team that would stay close to Maurice Varsano and family for the next 30 years. Together they grew the business focusing on soft commodities trading, mainly sugar, and developed a worldwide network stretching from Europe to Japan and the Americas.
During the 1970s, now known as Sucden, the company expanded into new territories including the Arabic Peninsula, North Africa and Latin America, new products such as molasses, coffee, cocoa, financial services and brokerage (Sucden Financial), and also diversified into meat and frozen food (Sogéviandes, Davigel) and milk trading (Sogélait).
After the death of Maurice Varsano in 1980, Max Benhamou, with the backing of Maurice’s son Serge Varsano, led the company into greater diversification and industrialization. Sugar trading flourished and new investments were made in meat (Charal by Sogéviandes) and cocoa (Cacao Barry).
The 1990s saw a period of rationalization when Sucden moved back to its core business of sugar trading and pulled out of peripheral activities. In 1998 Sucden relaunched a sugar agricultural and industrial development initiative in Russia.
Redevelopment and expansion
From the 2000s through to the present day, the Group redeveloped its activities step-by-step into other soft commodities including cocoa, coffee and ethanol, and also strengthened the agro-industrial business in Russia.
With Serge Varsano at the helm, Sucden has continued expanding and acquired the New York-based Coffee Americas in 2014 and Amsterdam-based Nedcoffee in 2015. In 2016, Sucden enhanced its logistics capabilities by acquiring a fleet of four state-of-the-art handymax vessels.
In 2019 Sucden expanded its sugar operations in Russia with the acquisition of the Elets sugar plant and its coffee business in Colombia with the acquisition of the Colombian business of Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners.