Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rum Giving Back

    I'm remembering a trip to Panama two years ago and visiting the Distillery of Varela Hermanos.   One of the things that is still in my mind about the trip was how many local people were employed by the distillery.   There is a real connection between the Varela Hermanos company and the people of the town of Pese.    

    The sugar cane being harvested by hand without burning the fields first, keeping the pollution down and providing a quality of life that is much better for the locals.     The residents of Pese almost all work for the distillery.  Doing jobs that range from cutting the cane by hand, carting cane to the crusher, processing the cane at the crusher, to management and marketing.    This is part of why the residents and the distillery have such a special bond.   The distillery is a very green operation as well, from not burning the cane fields to using the cane stalks to fire the stills and bringing the cane to the mill by ox drawn carts, the company leaves a very small footprint on the country side.  

     The Varela Hermanos company also supports many of the arts in addition supports the Special Olympics in Panama.   Plus a program of planting a tree for each person that crosses the finish line of their individual event.    Their tech centers and arts centers all are aimed at the education of the young people.

    This is not the only rum producer to put back into the community, you will find programs like these at many of the distilleries around the world.  I'm proud of Varela Hermanos for their programs and all of the others that participate in the communities around their plants.   ;o)