The Best of Colombia at fair trader
On Saturday 26th September during Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival, fair trader celebrated the launch of Pura Panela and Dark Woods’ Tormento blend, its finest Colombian coffee.
Natalia Welch, Managing Director of Pura Panela, came along for the day to introduce visitors to the unique taste of Panela, an organic sugar made from sugarcane. This natural sweetener is produced by a smallholder co-operative in Columbia using traditional methods. High in iron, other minerals and antioxidants, it is a nutritious source of energy and has now become available in the UK. Natalia started her company a year ago with support from The University of Sheffield to bring the product to the UK. It is carbon neutral and helps sustain the environment and a traditional way of life in rural Colombia.
Natalia, herself from Colombia, was proudly sporting her national team’s football shirt whilst inviting visitors to sample biscuits, snacks, and drinks that had been made by fair trader’s members, using Pura Panela as a key ingredient. These included a cocktail incorporating Fairtrade organic rum which went down very well in the warm autumn sunshine!
On Sunday, visitors were also treated to free tastings of Dark Woods superb washed arabica coffee produced 1750 metres high up in Columbia’s beautiful Castillo region. Damien Blackburn of Dark Woods, who knows the area and set the company up last year in a converted mill in nearby Marsden, was with us on Sunday to tell people about the cultivation, roasting, and preparation of the perfect cup of coffee. He was the best man for the job as he selects and roasts the beans along with co-directors Ian, who trains the farmers and Paul, who trains baristas from all over the UK.
If you missed the event, don’t worry – both products are now available from the Holmfirth shop and from our online shop where you can also find recipes for Brown Sugar Shortbread, Sugared walnuts and Ma's date chutney all using Pura Panela.