The 168 members of a Brazilian Farmers cooperative are proud to announce their coffee is crossing the Atlantic Ocean destined for Belgium and Spain. The coffee growers are part of the Coocaminas group, which gathers small producers from Poço Fundo in southeastern Brazil. The cooperative members have the Fair Trade certification, which means sustainable development in both social and environmental aspects.
This is the first time Coocaminas’ coffee reaches international markets. The cooperative was supported by a training project known as Agro.BR, an export promotion program focused on diversifying Brazil’s exporting agenda. The initiative came from the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) in partnership with the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (APEX).
“Coocaminas was in the process of organizing itself but needed support to overcome bureaucratic and operational difficulties to export. Focusing on these issues, we were able to conclude new purchase processes, taking the product to other European countries and South Korea,” says Paulo Marcius, who has worked as a consultant to enable the co-op members’ journey to the international market.
The farmers say they are happy with the project. “We had all the support from document issuance to coffee shipment. The process may seem obvious, but it is complex and requires commitment for those who export for the first time. Paulo Marcius helped us a lot during all the work,” says Karen Nery, Trade Manager at Coocaminas.
With Agro.BR‘s support, Coocaminas was able to diversify its clients, increase the revenue of farmers and their families, and avoid the need for middlemen. In total, 360 coffee bags were shipped to Belgium and 320 more to Spain. All of them have the Fine Cup quality guarantee and the Fair Trade certificate.
Now, the goal is to further expand the customer portfolio and the number of cooperative members. All this contributes to the community, the environment, and the growth of each farm’s business.
Coocaminas’ coffee is produced in a mountainous region, which gives it a chocolatey flavor, among other specific sensory elements. The bean obtained an average score of 82 SCA points, a strict protocol from the Specialty Coffee Association that analyzes body, fragrance, aroma, flavor, finish, acidity, sweetness, and whether more fruity or complex notes are present.
The production has sustainability practices such as erosion control, carbon sequestration, and preservation of natural springs. The varieties produced in the region are Catuaí Vermelho and Amarelo, Catucaí, Arara, Paraíso, and Mundo Novo. With the motto “Growing families, harvesting stories,” the cooperative has established itself in the market, has its own headquarters, and collaborators who are passionate about what they do.
Coocaminas was founded in 2006 by a group of small producers from Poço Fundo aiming to value family agriculture through Fair Trade certification, which contributes to sustainable development by providing better trading conditions, generating partnerships, and ensuring the rights of producers and consumers.