El Salvador is known for producing the most sugar cane derivatives in the region, with panela being one of the most commercialized nostalgic products in the United States.
Antonio Hernández, director of Acopanela, informed “Diario El Salvador” that the union exported close to $400,000 worth of candies to the United States last year. The product is marketed as nostalgic, and it is Salvadorans in Maryland, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston who consume it the most.
Hernández explained that around 12 containers were sent to the North American country, totaling about 2,450 tons of panela candy.
In addition, the businessman commented that between 300 and 500 quintals of granulated panela were also exported, which is expected to be marketed soon in countries such as Canada and Italy.
“The exports of 2022 we could say that they were close to $400,000 in panela candy, and everything is for export, while for 2023 it is expected that we will have exports of $500,000. In addition, we have planned to send the granulated panela to Canada and a little to Italy; we have already received approaches », he explained.
Acopanela’s goal is to increase its production each year and, above all, reach 15 exported containers with products derived from sugar cane, especially panela.
According to the producer, the sector generates employment, and for each mill, there are around 25 people carrying out different activities, while in Acopanela, only during harvest time, there are around 45.
The Panela fair
On the other hand, Hernández commented that they are close to holding the nineteenth Panela Fair in Verapaz, San Vicente, on March 5.
The objective of the fair is for tourists to learn about the products made in the mills, as well as to encourage their use. He also added that the activity will boost economic activity and tourism in the area.