Campesino is a "Panela granulada" sugar (as it is defined in Ecuador, its country of origin) and it is extracted from the sugar cane using the traditional method of simply passing the cane through a mechanical press, followed by evaporating off the water. Thanks to this natural process (which excludes any type of refining and use of chemical bleaching agents), this whole cane sugar retains all its original minerals, including iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, essential amino acids and B vitamins. It has a lower calorific value than that of white sugar and it has the added advantage of providing the body with vitamins and minerals.
The Campesino organic cane sugar is produced in Ecuador by the “Corporación Gruppo Salinas” a Fair Trade organization that brings together sixty cooperatives and associations based in Salinas, a small town nestled in the Andes, at an altitude of around 3,550 m. Among these groups of producers is COPROPAP, located in the province of Pichincha, a cooperative of roughly thirty farmers, who have been working together since 1992, with the shared objective of ensuring employment and economic sustainability for their families. The cooperative provides its members with technical support, with the aim of improving production (farming methods, purchasing farming machinery), and some important social services (a nursery school, a primary school and basic health services).