15 Jul Maria Panela, Bogotá (COL)
Panela is unrefined whole cane sugar, which is a solid form of sucrose derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice. After coffee, it is Colombia’s largest export product. Many traditional panela farmers – paneleros – are having a hard time though, because of artificial low market prices, caused by unfair competition by industrial companies.
Maria Panela pays their suppliers a fair price, that can be as much as 3 times the regular market price. By doing so, they stimulate traditional panela farming and help local farmers in the Villeta region close to Bogotá.
The name Maria Panela emphasises the role of the woman in the country side. Also, because Maria is such a common name in Colombia, many women can identify with the energy drink. Among the many Maria Panela ambassadors are models, actors, famous singers, and artists.
Next to close collaboration with the national union of paneleros (Fedepanela), Maria Panela has direct ties with coffee producers. The waste of coffee production is being re-cycled into the caffeine added to Maria Panela’s energy drinks.