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Life is sweet for Carlos, Head of Sugar in Brazil

Life is sweet for Carlos Franco, Head of Sugar in Brazil for Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). He seems to have found the secret formula to a healthy and successful work-life balance, combining his demanding job with a close-knit family and appetite for life – and good food.

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One of the country’s longest serving managers, Carlos began his LDC career in 1993 as Legal Counsel, but ended up taking a remarkably different career path than the one he had planned at a legal practice. This may be linked to his combination of business focus and bon vivant spirit. Good humor and informality are the basic ingredients of a conversation with Carlos, whose knack for business is matched only by his ability to forge strong relationships.

Carlos’ aptitude for negotiating, while still working as a lawyer for the company, came to his manager’s attention. He had been travelling frequently to Recife, in Northern Brazil, to commercialize Vietnamese rice, imported by the company from Asia. His personable character and business conduct made him stand out. In 1997, he was invited to work in the sugar and ethanol trading business.

His performance, including increasing exported volumes, brought new opportunity. In 2014, Carlos was promoted to Regional Platform Manager.

In his current role, Carlos is responsible for LDC’s sugar and ethanol activities in the South-Center and North-Northeast regions of Brazil. He manages the team that purchases these products and their logistics, including local transport and storage in the ports of Santos, Paranaguá, Maceió, and Recife. As Brazil is responsible for nearly half of all sugar volumes commercialized globally, it is important that LDC delivers best-in-class services on a global scale, too – which is what Carlos’ team works hard to ensure on a daily basis.

Family and music

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“Success requires encouraging your team to work together, and belief in the vision and strategy. Good relationships make a difference, and helped me approach strategic partners and the right customers,” Carlos says.

During his visits to sugar mills at Minas Gerais, Paraná and in the São Paulo countryside, Carlos uses his free time to discover new places. From conceptual bars to traditional Italian restaurants, Carlos is sure to have a good recommendation. Passionate about gastronomy, he also has culinary adventures in his own kitchen. In fact, before joining LDC, Carlos owned a restaurant specializing in traditional New Orleans creole cuisine.

Music also has a special place in Carlos’ life. He met his wife during a music festival in the late 1980s, and his eclectic taste in music – from classic rock to country – helps him bond with his sons.

At home, Carlos spends as much time as possible with his family.

“I am happy with my life. My sons are on a good path. Our family is really close,” he says. “This allows me to focus on my professional life and career. I want to continue contributing to LDC’s development in Brazil, to fly higher, and to face new challenges.”

© 2018 Louis Dreyfus Company

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