If one compares current statistics on production and consumption, one notices that the decline of the panela industry in Venezuela has been particularly drastic. At the end of the 1950s, approximately twice as much panela was produced as sugar, whereas the present ratio is 4:100, with a total production of 15,000 tonnes of panela per year. Assuming an average annual production of 55 tonnes per factory (based on a survey of the Andes region) this gives us a total of 270 factories. Thus, over the past 30 years, well over 1,000 factories have ceased production. No wonder, then, that one stumbles across the ruins of a trapiche more frequently in Venezuela than a trapiche that is still operational. How did this development come about?