The production of panela generates 90,000 jobs in Colombia, the
country’s Institute for Medicine and Food Monitoring (INVIMA) announced Thursday.
The Institute has 17,255 sugar mills inscribed in the official organization.
The majority of panela producers are small farmers, producing no more than 50 kilograms a day. This group of producers, INVIMA concludes, mostly are family businesses.
Panela is also a product of exports, as the institute states:
56 sugar mills from Cundinamarca, Tolima and Huila send Colombian
panela abroad, though the product barely known abroad. Only neighboring countries like
Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador know the Colombian national drink.
Panela is a sugarcane nougat common to the Colombian diet. It is
usually boiled in water and consumed as a hot drink. It is popular in all the
economical classes, is cheap and easy to transport, because it can be
made in different shapes. Sugar mills in Colombia are haciendas own by
families dedicated to this very traditional Colombian food.