We have already highlighted the importance of panela for Colombia and other Latin American countries, now it is time to know how the sector works throughout the national territory; For this, we refer to official data from DANE, Fedepanela, INVIMA, among others, which through some studies have highlighted the work of peasants in the production of panela.
The elaboration of this product has intensified thanks to the growth of the sugar mills in the country, which are located in 27 departments, being Risaralda, Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Valle and Santanderes, the largest. The most recent figures from INVIMA indicate that there are 1,869 sugar cane plantations registered with this entity; However, Fedepanela’s data exceeds 20 thousand in the country.
However, despite the increase in sugar mills, panela production has declined due to several factors. The lack of support for small producers, counterfeit panela and contraband have become obstacles to this work that for years has kept Colombia as the second largest producer of panela worldwide in approximately 30 countries.
But not everything is negative, over the years and new markets, entrepreneurs have renewed their products generating new purchase and export options, reaching countries such as Argentina, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia and even South Korea and exceeding 30 million tons exported with profits of more than 15,000 million pesos, which represents income for some 70,000 Colombian families.