October 2011. Farmer Relations manager Matt Fury went to Brazil for the first time.
In our Think Blends, two of the component coffees in our blends are from farms called Fazenda Lacador Sementes and Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida.
Lacador is in the the Cerrado region of the state of Minas Gerais.
Nossa Senhora is on the northern border of the state of Sao Paulo.
The Cerrado, meaning “closed,” is an expansive region of farmland stretching flat and deplete forever and in all directions. Not really, but that was the impression. Crops do seem to have been planted in endless rows in an unnatural and sterile environment. But, we learned that that is what the Cerrado looks like. And it is anything but sterile.
Jose Orlando is the General Manager of Lacador Sementes Café. He is in responsible for the land, flora, and fauna and he loves his job. The farm didn’t match the romantic idea of the steep tropical farms of Central America or Africa, but Jose, like any small Finca owner considers his job a sacred responsibility and the land an extension of him. Jose spent hours showing me how the environment of the Cerrado works and how the farm fit into the environment. Because the Cerrado is a vast enclosed area, they farm in an enclosed way. Nothing from the farm ever leaves the farm into the neighboring farms or into the watershed. The farm is certified by a variety of social and environmental watch-groups, but it’s not necessary. It’s a responsible farm and with Jose Orlando in charge, it will stay that way. Fazenda Lacador Sementes Café is owned by Airyon Jose Magne. It is one of three components in our Bleecker Think Blend.
The General Manager of Nossa Senhora Aparecida is Serrafin. He is so cool, we love this guy so much. Serrafin has the same job as Jose Orlando. He exudes joy and peace. Unless you mess with the farm. We watched him “interact” with coworkers. It’s best to do things his way. He keeps Nossa Senhora clean, sound, responsible and BEAUTIFUL. It really is lovely, like wine country and with the same water issues. The Quercia family, who owns Nossa Senhora, is funding a huge reservoir project. It holds over 25 million gallons of water and will significantly reduce the farm’s draw on the already overworked river and aquifer. It’s a very expensive and responsible project that should be internationally commended and probably will be. Adriano Reis Da Silva is the farms coffee quality control manager. He was incredibly accommodating. He spent hours teaching us about the farm’s finished product. We cupped coffees and prepared for the arrival of this year’s crop.
For questions about our environmental or social responsibility efforts, or to visit a farm, contact our Director of Coffee firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was our first time in Brazil. Not what we thought. Somebody´s gonna have to learn Portuguese because we´re gong to spend more time here. Check back in a couple days for a full report.