John is the Founder and Director of Rivertrade Limited, specialised in providing seed, early stage capital and funding to private businesses across a wide variety of sectors in the UK and internationally. He was Chairman and a significant shareholder of the largest entertainment insurance broker which was sold to integro in 2015, backed the construction of the Jawamanis Sugar refinery in Indonesia while chairing its board, and also backed from an early stage a leading carbon credit business set up as part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions under the UN Kyoto protocol.
John is actively involved in charities devoted to using sport for social development as a trustee of the Eric Evans Trust and Tennis For Free as well as a founding backer of the Made by Sport initiative. He is a board member of the UK-based Centre for Social Justice, a pre-eminent think tank helping to influence social welfare policy in the UK.
Prior to his current activities, John was a Director of E D and F Man, a leading commodity and fund management business. From 1987-1999, he held the position of global Managing Director of the sugar division with more than 1,800 staff in 40 offices and facilities. He was also a member of the senior management team that saw Man Group float on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2004, John teamed up with others to develop a private villa estate called Samujana on the well-known resort island of Ko Samui in Thailand. Initially intended to be a small bolt hole for a group of friends and their families with links to the Asian hubs of Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, Samujana has grown to be one of the most exclusive high-end estates in the region, with 27 substantial pool villas perched on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Fifteen years after the first villa was completed, the estate is still overseen by an owners’ group, chaired by John. His other hospitality interests include the Fox Club, a boutique club and residence in Mayfair, London.
Brian Nolk brings three decades of experience in managing business intelligence firms. Originally from Toronto, Brian worked in Sydney, Hong Kong, Geneva, New York and Dubai before moving to London. Having led such businesses as Victoria Street Capital, FC Business Intelligence, Worldwide Business Research, Metal Bulletin and DeHavilland, he joined Sugaronline in August 2019 to develop and launch a series of cash market sugar prices across the regions of Europe and Africa. Following that successful launch last year, which has seen Sugaronline’s aggregate European price closely tracking the European Commission’s two-month delayed price since its launch, Sugaronline’s cash market prices have provided some much-needed transparency to the markets in real time. Brian has now agreed to use his extensive business and events management experience to further strengthen Sugaronline.
Executive Director and Head of Content
Meghan Sapp is a journalist and analyst based in Navarra, Spain with more than 20 years of writing and editing experience including Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Board of Trade, Biofuels Digest, BioFPR, ICIS Chemical News, Women’s eNews and many others. Her specialty is agriculture with a focus on sugar, soft commodities and biofuels. Since 2005, she has been Sugaronline’s editor, responsible for all news coverage, weekly analysis and managing the international team of correspondents. She specialises in the African market and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Anna Flávia Rochas
Anna Flávia Rochas is a Brazilian media professional based in Orlando, Florida with more than eight years of writing and editing experience for real-time news wires including Reuters, magazines and digital news outlets in Brazil and the United States. Her specialities include includes Brazilian business and economic trends, renewable energy, utility companies, modern power systems, public stock markets, government regulatory agencies, and environmental impact of new infrastructure. She covers the Latin American markets for Sugaronline and is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Prerna Sharma Singh
Prerna Sharma Singh is an award winning agriculture and food specialist based in Mumbai, India. Winner of Zee Business India’s Best Market Analyst Awards 2013, she is a regular agriculture and food columnist for The Hindu Business Line, The Financial Express and Nikkei Asian Review. Currently, she heads the agriculture and food vertical at Biznomics Consulting, a research and policy advocacy start up wherein she advises leading Indian firms (MNCs) about the demand, supply and price trends in India’s agricultural and food markets. She writes analysis about the Indian market for Sugaronline and is fluent in English and Hindi.
Anne Bruce is a journalist and editor based in London. She has 20 years of experience writing for leading food trade business to business publications, and has also written extensively for digital news wires covering the food manufacturing, confectionery, bakery, ingredients and nutra-ingredients sectors.
Her areas of interest include food processing, logistics, retail, manufacturing and foodservice.
Cindy Snyder is an American journalist with more than 30 years of experience writing about agriculture and business, writing extensively for newspapers and magazines as well as agricultural agencies and associations. She is best known for her “windshield crop reports” as she drives from Idaho to Michigan and back along key beet growing areas, meeting farmers along the way. She lives in southern Idaho where she can watch her neighbour’s sugar beet crops grow.
Analyst – China, East Asia & Oceania
Roger started in sugar in 1977 on the Paris futures market and later joined ED&F Man as a director of ED&F Man (Far East), based in Hong Kong. During his career as a sugar trader, he initiated a number of groundbreaking strategies including the first joint trading operation for futures and physical sugar with Cofco, as well as structured trading strategies in Thailand and Cuba which became templates for the future.
In 1990, Roger joined Rabobank Hong Kong as co head of trade and commodity finance North Asia, and later head of Agri project finance Asia which included a number of investments in the regional sugar industry as well as Africa, and the creation of an agency line between Rabobank and the International Finance Corporation of the Worlrd Bank. Subsequently he worked as senior banker, global sugar and sweeteners for Rabobank until he left Rabobank in 2008, when he then worked as a senior advisor for Kenana Sugar, Mitr Phol and Bunge. Recent work has included assessment of a greenfield sugar project in Tanzania, and participating in the development of a National Sugar Policy for a major African importer seeking to develop its industry.
Analyst – East Africa
Nick Kwolek is the founder of Kwolco, an agri-trade consultancy and research business that was started in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018. In the summer of 2018, Nick decided to leave the sugar trade after 13 years to set up his own business catering to the medium- and large-scale commodities trade houses, international agencies, banks and agricultural producers in East and Southern Africa.
Nick is very passionate about the African continent and sees the massive current and future potential that it has. He has had the fortune to travel to almost all of the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and has a good understanding of how the sugar trade works on that side of the continent. Nick, when not in the office, can usually be found roaming the plains of Africa with his family in his trusty Landrover Defender.