Brazil - Fazenda El Progreso

Brazil - Fazenda El Progreso

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Origin: Brazil

Region: Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

Farm: Fazenda El Progreso

Variety: Catuaí, Catucaí, Yellow Topazio

Altitude: 1,150 to 1,200 masl

Process: Pulped Natural

In the cup; “Chocolate, Vanilla & Plum.”

Fazenda Progresso is a relatively young coffee farm that lies at around 1,150 metres in the mountainous Chapada Diamantina region of Bahia, northern Brazil. This 22,000 hectare family business started life in 1984 as a vegetable farm and is now one of Brazil’s largest potato producers - but they only diversified into coffee relatively recently.

The Borré family has invested heavily in developing Progresso’s coffee infrastructure. The farm recently extended production to 1,000 hectares as of the end of 2012. The farm has also built its own processing facilities on-site, which produce washed, pulped natural and natural coffees. Progresso’s coffee division currently employs some 200 permanent workers, which swells to between 400 and 500 during harvest. Unfortunately after the big drought in Brazil in 2011/2012 - a problem that continues to plague the industry – the area under coffee has been slightly reduced, as 100% of the farm is irrigated. However, to combat climate change, the family has begun to change the way the coffee plantation is managed. With the new techniques and technologies that are being used today, they expect to reinitiate expanding their production in the coming years.

Worker welfare is important to the family. In fact, work clothing, sunscreen and other safety equipment is supplied and paid for by the family. Farm workers are organised in several geographical sectors throughout the farm, and in most of them the uniform colour is a bright, almost-cerulean blue. There’s no specific reason for this colour, but it means that workers are easily identified in the fields, further contributing to safety. According to the family, as well, blue is a very subtle colour that mirrors the blue of the Brazilian sky, creating a positive aesthetic experience of the landscape. They have also built and foster a school for children in a village next to the farm, further contributing to the wider community.

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