Colombia is the second producer of panela worldwide after India. Colombia exports more than one million tons per year, there are 350 thousand producing families, it generates 270 thousand jobs per year and promoter of 12% of the economically active rural population.
Panela has become one of the most important sectors for the economy of the country and given the wide business opportunities with products made with panela, Heincke was born, a company that bet on this derivative of sugarcane sugar to boost productivity and rural development.
Fernando Heincke, co-founder of the company, explains that “panela has played a vital role within Colombia. It is a product that shares the same climate as coffee and is vital for the agriculture economy. ”
Likewise, María Paula Guerrero, co-founder of Heincke, says that “the panela market in Colombia is complicated, because when the producer offers its panela, the buyer offers the price at which they buy it”, a disadvantage that generates unfair payments and inequalities within the marketing of the product.
These challenges make Heincke a company committed to sustainability, farmer development and land productivity with a business model that strengthens alliances with farmers by getting involved in the production process, buying the final product at a profitable price for the families that make it and exporting a high quality food.
For the creators of Heincke, this business idea rescues the value of agricultural productions and supports the Colombian countryside as the main asset so that more families can join this business.
«We have the desire on the part of Heincke selling a premium product to an international market and the farmer, who does not have to give away his product, concentrating on having a food of excellent quality and at very good prices.»
For adding value and empowering value chains in Colombia, Heincke is recognized for being part of the companies that change the way of doing business in the country, involving strategies that highlight the farmer’s talent in his business model.
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