How Sweet It Is

Zucarmex sugars to open in Tucson.

May 1, 2014

GleaningsIssue 6: May/June 2014

Zucarmex, a sugar company based in Sinaloa, Mexico, has secured a space to begin producing and distributing sugar and liquefied sugar products here in the Old Pueblo.

While we mostly laud Baja Arizona’s steady growth in small-scale, locally produced foods, we recognize that the overall economy receives a boost when large manufacturers make their home here, too. The Arizona Daily Star recently reported that Zucarmex expected to make 50 new hires here in Tucson.

The family-owned company, which started as a small sugar mill business over a century ago, sources natural sugar cane from more than 15,000 farmers in Mexico and processes the raw materials in four sugar mills throughout Mexico. At the new Tucson facility, Carlos Rionda, Zucarmex vice president of sales and marketing, says, “We plan on producing, packaging and distributing dry and liquid sugar products.” Rionda stresses that Mexican cane sugar farmers are “true partners” of Zucarmex and that under Mexican law they receive a significant portion of final profits.

The company prides itself on making Morena pure cane sugar, which it claims tastes better than refined white sugar, “retaining a flavor profile that’s as close to fresh sugar cane as possible.” Also, according to Rionda, many beverage makers in the United States are making the switch from high fructose corn syrups and highly processed beet sugars to more natural cane sugars produced in liquid form, which means Zucarmex has been producing more liquefied sugar in recent years.

Rionda says that location was a major concern in siting the Tucson distribution operation. “The main reason for relocating to Tucson is the supply chain benefits provided by the Port of Tucson,” he says. Zucarmex currently has five other sugar distribution hubs in the United States, and Tucsonans can buy their sugar at any major supermarket—look for packages labeled as Zulka Morena Cane Sugars. ✜

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