Arab Today, arab today brazilian farmer hopes for sweeter coffee market
Last Updated : GMT 14:25:39
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Brazilian farmer hopes for sweeter coffee market

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Brazilian farmer hopes for sweeter coffee market

Brazilian farmer Marcos Croce has woken up and smelled the coffee
Mococa - AFP

Brazilian farmer Marcos Croce has woken up and smelled the coffee -- embracing the organic trend and bucking Brazil's long-held status as a mass producer of poor quality beans.

His Hacienda Ambiental Fortaleza plantation, surrounded by tropical plants and trees in Sao Paulo state, goes against everything that has made Brazil the world's biggest, though hardly most appreciated, source of coffee.

Croce's specialty-grade coffee grows organically: some of the plants in the sun, others in the shade, and the soil is fertilizer free.

"We will never manage to compete in terms of quantity, but here we have managed to stand apart with consistent quality," Croce, 62, said as he walked between rows of shrubs speckled with red coffee beans.

The hacienda stands 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) above sea level, some 185 miles (300 kilometers) north of Brazil's financial capital and biggest city, Sao Paulo.

It has been producing coffee since 1890, most of that with an eye on the mass market and using fertilizers and pesticides. But when Croce and his wife took over the family business in 2001 they switched to organic, a shocking -- but ultimately beneficial, he believes -- change in rhythm.

"Our production dropped 80 percent," Croce remembers.

Before, the plantation collected 10,000 bags of coffee a year. Croce would not reveal the current output.

It's still below old levels, he said, but the business is sustainable, selling to about 30 countries, including France and Italy.

Now Croce, who also set up the Bob-o-Link cooperative of some 60 small producers, wants the organic approach to expand.

"We want to set up a sustainability index, not just in environmental terms, but social," he said.

- Best of the average -

"When it comes to coffee, Brazil has always been considered the best team of the second division," Silvio Leite, president of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association, which was set up in 1991.

With production of 45.3 million 132-pound (60 kg) bags in 2014, Brazil accounts for almost a third of world output, trailed by Vietnam and Colombia. But there's a problem: Brazilian coffee is very much at the bottom end of the market.

Last year, only eight million bags qualified as specialty grade. However, that was up 59 percent from 2013, and specialty coffee is hot.

It was Brazil's association that created the Cup of Excellence contest in 1999 to promote its coffee. Today, the competition has gone international and is considered a reference.

Demand for specialty coffee has risen worldwide by 10 to 15 percent in the last few years, compared to about two percent for regular coffee, with Europe, Japan and the United States leading the way.

But to date the best known producers remain Colombia and several African countries -- not the sleeping giant of Brazil.

- A 'miracle' -

So what's all the fuss about?

Technically, specialty coffee means scoring 80 points on a 100 point scale, standing out for taste and having few or no defects.

A good cup of coffee is "a miracle," says Isabela Raposeiras, 41, who teaches about coffee and sells coffee at the Coffee Lab in Sao Paulo.

"There are many stages that need to be done right," the renowned specialist said, ticking off everything from where the bean grows to how it is dried and toasted, to how the actual cup of coffee is prepared.

In Brazil, the number of regions producing specialty coffee is growing -- and, whether it's in Sao Paulo or Minas Gerais, Bahia, Espiritu Santo or Parana, each coffee is influenced by the different soils, climate and altitude.

Mostly these are small-scale producers, but some are also larger players who want to break into the market.

Gradually the trend is catching on. It was only in 2014 that a regional designation certification was set up, with Cerrado Minheiro from Minas Gerais state so far the only one.

"There are incredible coffees in Brazil and they're increasingly in demand," said Susie Spindler, from the Alliance for Coffee Excellence.

On the patio of Fortaleza, farmer Ivan Santos, 31, showed off the dark, hand-picked beans from the recent harvest.

"Making quality coffee, without defects, is difficult, slow and expensive," he said. "But it's a dream: we are sending our best coffee around the world and for the best prices."

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today brazilian farmer hopes for sweeter coffee market Arab Today, arab today brazilian farmer hopes for sweeter coffee market

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'

GMT 11:59 2017 Friday ,24 March

Jordan airline suggests flyers 'talk'
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni

GMT 07:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 07:03 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Spider Venom May Offer Hope to Stroke Victims

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday