This week, getting on board for an enlightening exploration, the Press Trip gathered a group of seasoned journalists and correspondents, all eager to reveal the secrets of Brazilian agriculture.
This diverse team, representing various media outlets, dived deep into the heart of the country’s farming practices, focusing on the coffee industry’s rhythmic beat. Armed with a passion for storytelling and a commitment to sustainable farming, these storytellers sought to capture and convey the essence of their mission.
Fazenda Santa Bárbara’s legacy
The Press Trip started with a visit to Fazenda Santa Bárbara in Monte Carmelo (Minas Gerais state), where producers Rafael Ramos Tomás, Rogério Ramos Tomás, and Juliana Rezende Mello warmly welcomed the entourage. The farm’s rich history, spanning back to the 1970s, showcased resilience and a renewed emphasis on sustainability and technological advancements since 2015. Fazenda Santa Bárbara has garnered prestigious national and international prizes, including 1st Place in the Women’s Sustainability and Innovation Projects Competition by the National Congress of Women in Agriculture in 2022 and the first Auction of Specialty Coffees by the Asia Singapore Coffee Association (SCA), further affirming its commitment to excellence in the coffee industry.
MonteCCer’s devotion to coffee excellence
The journey then led to the Cooperative of Coffee Producers in Cerrado Monte Carmelo (MonteCCer), unveiling a meticulous approach to batch tracking and an unwavering commitment to the highest quality standards. Visiting MonteCCer’s facilities, the sustainable process they have championed became increasingly apparent. The cooperative’s innovative socio-environmental program, Viveiro de Atitude, not only echoes its devotion to quality coffee but also underscores its profound commitment to environmental stewardship. MonteCCer’s sustainable practices go beyond traditional farming, weaving a tapestry of conscious choices that contribute to the preservation of their surroundings and the coffee industry at large.
Fazenda Barinas’ coffee powerhouse
The next stop, Fazenda Barinas in Araxá, stands out as a coffee powerhouse managed by Márcio Borges Castro Alves and Tiago Alves. Producing 7 thousand sacks of arabica coffee annually, 80% for international markets, the farm ensures quality through specialty coffee assurance and holds certifications for sustainability. Tiago Alves, representing the family’s eighth generation, leads with expertise. With a modern lab, a nature-inspired coffee space, and accolades like the BSCA Award, Fazenda Barinas is a beacon of sustainability and excellence in the global coffee community.
Global connections: International Coffee Week’s impactful finale
The journey’s apex at the International Coffee Week showcases the global connections and opportunities fostered for the whole Brazilian coffee chain. Hosted by Sistema FAEMG/SENAR, SEBRAE, the Minas Gerais Government, and Espresso&Co, with active participation from Sistema CNA/SENAR, the fair represents a nexus for market access, knowledge exchange, and business development within the global coffee community.
An experience that will never be forgotten
Through several experiences, the Press Trip not only unveiled but shed light on the very essence of Brazilian agriculture.
Kengo Tanaka, a Japanese Jiji Press correspondent, said, “For the Japanese people, coffee is synonymous with Brazil, so it was an incredible experience to learn about coffee production. It was great for me, and I could see the work and commitment of coffee producers to preserve the environment and promote sustainability. It was an outstanding experience.”
Martina Farmbauer, a German correspondent/reporter, said, “Getting to know coffee production in Minas Gerais was a new and exceptional experience for me. I was very impressed by the tradition of farms whose owners are in the seventh generation and the high level of professionalism. It was all very good: the planning, techniques, internationalization, presentations in English (already thinking about exportation), in addition to all the beauty of the state.”
From the passion-soaked fields of Fazenda Santa Bárbara to MonteCCer’s unwavering commitment to quality, the resilience of Fazenda Barinas, and the global connections forged at the International Coffee Week, this press journey revealed the vibrant tapestry of Brazil’s agricultural prowess.