The production process at Varela Hermanos S. A. starts with the distillation of alcohol from the juice of the sugarcane and the rum from molasses. Each year during the dry season (January through May) the company’s workforce in Pesé, made up of more than 200 permanent employees and 300 harvest time employees, set out to cut more than 50,000 tons of sugarcane from approximately 800 hectares of cultivated land owned by the company. The company counts with two bottling plants; one in Pesé in the province of Herrera, where Seco Herrerano is mainly bottled; another at the capital, in the province of Panama, where national brands such as Ron Abuelo, Ron Cortez, Gin Caballito and others are bottled.
Varela Hermanos S. A. has a history that dates back to 1908 when Don José Varela Blanco, a young Spanish immigrant, launches the Ingenio San Isidro in the town of Pesé, the first sugar mill in the then recently formed Republic of Panama. The town of Pesé, established in the middle of the XVIII century, is located in a fertile valley in the middle of Panama, where the main commercial activity of its near 10,000 inhabitants is the cultivation of sugarcane. In 1936, agreeing to the wishes of his 3 eldest sons, José Manuel, Plinio and Julio, Don José begins the distillation of sugarcane juice for the elaboration of liqueurs, and was distinguished from the start for products of extraordinary quality. Since then, Varela Hermanos S. A. has maintained a leadership position in the liqueur industry of Panama, and today they produce approximately one million boxes a year, representing 90% of the national market of liqueurs. The company has 700 permanent employees, who carry out tasks ranging from cutting sugarcane to the promotion and sale of the finished product.