We interviewed three coffee representatives from the main Brazilian coffee regions we work with: Mogiana, South of Minas and Cerrado

Below you can read some insights they have about their regions, what to expect for 20/21 crop and how has COVID-19 affected harvest so far:

 

MOGIANA

Interviewee: Patricia Coelho and Mauricio Coelho

Background: Patricia and Mauricio are married for over 20 years and each of them are highly involved with the coffee industry as they both grew up in coffee towns. Patricia is a producer who is now involved with taking care of her family’s two farms and Mauricio is the commercial manager at Costa Café, Kamba’s main Brazilian coffee exporting partner.

What defines the Mogiana region for you?

Mogiana is recognized by the remarkable sweetness and body of its coffees, which pleases most consumers. In our opinion, Mogiana’s particularity is that it is located on the border of the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, which enables for a huge diversity in coffee and farm profiles, from floral and delicate to high acidity and full body. What defines Mogiana coffees in general though is balance.

For you to have an idea from Patricia’s Santo Antonio farm you can basically walk from one state to the other and the diverse altitude of the farm ranging from 900 to 1200 mts also enables her to produce different profiles and varieties. We also like that Mogiana has mostly small and medium producers and a really rich tradition for coffee, most people rely on the coffee industry somehow to survive and cities have coffee in its history.

What do you expect for the 20/21 crop?

We expect it to be a record crop in terms of quality and productivity, mainly due to perfect weather during the flowering and growing season, but we have to be careful when making such a statement as we have to observe rain patterns during harvest, which could undermine all the great weather conditions so far. To much rain during harvesting season can be devastating.

How is Covid-19 affecting your region?

This is a very difficult question; it will depend on how affected our country is by the pandemic. So far, the capital cities and some states in the northeast have been highly affected but the coffee region remains mostly unaffected (interview was conducted on 15/05/2020).

Coffee organizations created new harvesting protocols that will be implemented to keep workers safe, but there will be challenges for farmers who rely on outside labour for harvesting.

All in all, we have to do our best to mitigate risks but its hard to predict all the challenges we will face.

 

SOUTH OF MINAS

Interviewee: Paulo Flora

Background: Paulo’s family has been producing coffee in the region of Pocos de Caldas for many generations. His farming techniques have always been very innovative with the implementation of raised beds, different processing methods and varietals studies in partnership with IAC (Campinas Agronomic Institute), one of the most recognized coffee research institutes internationally.

What defines the South of Minas region for you?

Quality and diversity due to the high altitude and diverse soils, particularly the volcanic soils in the region of Pocos de Caldas where luckily my farm is located.

What do you expect for the 20/21 crop?

We expect a significant quality improvement from the previous crop, which was a very challenging crop for Brazil. This year we had even flowering and good rain patterns.

How is Covid-19 affecting your region?

Our region relies on labour for the harvest as most of the properties are small and not mechanized. Usually people would come from other regions or states of Brazil  for the harvest as a seasonal worker but with covid-19 we are not sure we will be able to rely on this movement of people, hopefully we can incentivize local unemployed people to come and work with us.

 

CERRADO:

Interviewee: Sandra Moraes

Background: Sandra is a buyer and exporter of specialty coffee for one of Cerrado’s most innovative cooperative, Expocaccer. Sandra is from Patrocinio (MG), a city in the heart of Cerrado, and has been involved in the coffee industry since very young working at an agricultural product reseller. After her initial contact with farmers and their stories she wanted to get involved with the coffee supply chain in a broader spectrum, so she started working with exports and later at Expocaccer in 2011.

Sandra also teaches coffee technology and agribusiness at Unicerp (University of Patrocinio). She is one of the many incredible women in Brazil innovating the coffee industry and making the most of their leadership positions.

What defines the Cerrado region for you?

Cerrado is an agricultural region with a lot of attitude and innovation. We aim to empower producers and increase coffee quality and consistency together, always looking for differentiation in every aspect, from genetics and technology to a decrease in the use of pesticides and non-organic products. Cerrado has gained international recognition due to its diversity of terroirs and the entrepreneurial spirit of producers.

What do you expect for the 20/21 crop?

We expect it to be an excellent crop mainly because we had a uniform flowering and even development and granulation of the coffee beans. For the same reasons we expect screen sizes to be bigger and bean density higher when compared to last crop. All in all, coffee will be more uniform.

The only thing that could risk this excellence in quality is too much rain during harvest season.

How is Covid-19 affecting your region?

Farmers in our region make great use of technology so we believe harvest will not be impacted as we have very little hand-picking and do mostly mechanized harvesting. The pandemic will not represent a direct problem to us.