The Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) has announced Pinhal Farm has won the prestigious title of Brazil’s most sustainable farm, with 42 per cent of its land preserved in the midst of Eucalyptus and other native trees.
According to the BSCA, Pinhal is a favourite among specialty coffee connoisseurs in the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Australia, Saudi Arabia and China, and secured the award thanks to its unique use of technology and sustainable crop management through the preservation of flora and fauna, and reduction in fertilisers and pesticides.
Located in Santo Antônio do Amparo, Minas Gerais state, Pinhal is run by Pedro Reis, and his sister, Mariana Reis Teixeira – part of the Teixeira family’s sixth generation of specialty coffee growers. The varieties cultivated are Acaiá, Arara, Bourbon, Castilho, Catinguá, Red Catuaí, Yellow and Red Geisha, Icatu, Topázio, and Uva among others.
Sustainability initiatives at the farm include the installation of solar panels for power generation as well as a significant reduction in the use of water, fertilizers, pesticides and fuel. On top of this, Pinhal Farm partnered with a number of schools, allowing students to participate in planting trees on the plantation. The family has also allocated space for the rehabilitation and release of native wild animals.
“Since we can’t change the world, let’s at least start with where we are. Sustainable production is very important so that we can work toward a more favourable climate in the future. Our intention is also to influence the people around us and with whom we have contact. Sustainability is a continuous evolution, and it is important to create momentum and hopefully inspire others to follow suit,” says Pedro Reis, who runs Pinhal’s day to day operations.
At O’Coffee, which placed second, located in Pedregulho, São Paulo, Brazil, sustainable practices are also a priority. The fast-growing farm manufactures its own compost, coffee powder, and water from bean processing. O’Coffee also cultivates native plant species to neutralise carbon emissions.
“We work with people, and it is from their way of thinking and acting that good practices come about. This contributes to what we call a balanced carbon balance in which we make the most of good practices to reduce carbon emissions while the forest areas and coffee trees work to neutralise carbon dioxide,” says Ubion Terra, Executive Director of the O’Coffee.
The technologies include using telemetry to surround the tractor fleet, which applies each drop of water precisely, taking into account climate conditions and soil moisture.
“BSCA works in an educational way to tell the tradition and stories behind the Brazilian product, but mainly to present the sustainable production that the coffee grower already practices, thus meeting the demands of an increasingly strict market. The association strives for this sustainable coffee production in Brazil, encouraging its members to produce coffee adopting sustainability practices,” says Vinicius Estrela, BSCA Executive Director.
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