Within the coffee industry it became popular to refer to the evolving consumer’s behavior as the successions of waves. And, indeed, we can see how complex this industry became in the last years.
There is a plethora of different extraction methods, blends and combinations of sweetness, spices and spirits to enhance the taste experience for consumers.
Interestingly, more than ever we are seeing that this complex chain has a strong bond and dependency on, sometimes, the least valuable actor, which are coffee farmers, as we discussed in our last post. COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the dependence on a complex chain of intermediaries that allow coffee to come from origin to final destination.
Well, for us, at the end of the day, there is no other way to say it, but a good cup of coffee starts with a good quality bean itself, which is planted, cared for, harvested and prepared by a grower willing to give his best product to the market. But unlike other agents in this industry, there are many factors that producers do not have any control over — seemingly the effects of droughts and hailstorms in Brazil in this year of 2021.
Where did it begin?
Since our Origin Trip in 2019 we came back to Australia thinking about how we could contribute to producers to get a broader view of the industry and their role in it, as well as enhance their livelihood. What were the areas in which we could give effective support and share our experience?
We found out that many farmers struggled to understand the quality of their coffee, just a few know how to do a sensory analysis and experiment innovative post harvest techniques for improvement of quality. Additionally, there is an intermingle about personal and professional activity at the farm level, as for many small growers, it is also their home.
With all that in mind we came up with a few thoughts that we could help farmers by sharing our experience as entrepreneurs — addressing the challenges to see their farms as a business and adopt professional practices and metrics to manage it. And financially support them to get good advice regarding quality control from specialised agronomists.
What is our vision?
This scenario was the seed for the Educare Coffee project. Our vision is to bring more empowerment to producers through education. It means giving them conditions to have financial education to improve cost control and profitability. Data collection and analysis education to gather information about their property and plants, producing data for better decision making. It is giving them cup and taste education to uncover the universe of flavours we also share with roasters and consumers in Australia.
We proudly started this project with a pilot group of 14 women in the region of Mantiqueira de Minas — located in the southern part of Minas Gerais state. Since June of 2021 we have an agronomist specialised in coffee to support these coffee farmers to better understand their farms as a business and improve quality control of production.
Why we do it?
By supporting farmers we build new alternatives for rural development, social improvement, and environmental responses to challenges affecting producing areas. This is a contribution for keeping coffee as a sustainable business for growers and enable future production to keep coming to Australia.
We are also developing a whole new image of Brazilian coffees. We have a diversity of regions, microclimate, and terroirs which are not fully developed and recognised by international markets. It is time to spread the new and unique flavours coming directly from Brazil.
Who is supporting the project?
All this would not be possible without the support of our Australian Roasters B3 Coffee, Extraction Artisan Coffee and the Brazilian NGO SEBRAE-MG, which is responsible for providing a state of the art platform for management and cross data comparison within coffee and dairy industries in the state of Minas Gerais. If you would like to be part of this, please contact us! Will be a pleasure to have you in this journey.
What is next?
This October 2021 was a month for the books. We had our first coffee competition and in our next post we’ll share with you all the details about this event.
Stay tuned for the upcoming updates.