Volcano coffee in Brazil is farmed and produced by the coffee cooperative Minasul.
Volcano was Minasul’s very first European buyer, and we have been a proud partner since 2016. We buy some 80 tonnes of coffee from them every year, which is used in our Mount Blend and Fire House coffees.
The Minasul cooperative was set up in 1958 in Varginha, and today consists of some 6000 coffee producers from over 150 locations across four producing regions – Sul de Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas, Matas de Minas and Chapada de Minas.
At the heart of Minasul's ethos is social inclusion, environmental preservation and education and training for members, their families and the community.
Projecto Minasul Educa was set up in 2009 to support the eight rural schools in Varginha, which educate over 550 students from the first to the ninth grades.
In August the cooperative constructed the Usina Cocatrel Minasul, a world-class complex where producers can stock and process some 1.6 million bags of the best Brazilian coffee each year, before it is shipped around the globe. The site even has its own Specialty Coffee Department, complete with a coffee lab and seven Q-graders, to help identify and differentiate producers' micro-lots.
Minasul also has its own technical department of agronomists who, committed to the sustainability and development of members' farms, work in partnership with the 4C Association - an international organisation which promotes sustainability in the coffee sector. In April 2018, they joined the Sustainability Coffee Program from IDH.
We're a proud partner of Minasul's direct trade programme which allows us a close relationship with the farmers who grow our specialty-grade coffee, and means we can work together in sustainable and socially responsible ways.
In October 2018, our Production Roaster Senina and Head of Roasting James will be returning to Brazil to judge Minasul's annual Taste of Harvest competition, which we helped to set up. This forum will allow producers to see first-hand how quality expectations align with consumer demands, and compare how micro-climates and processing/farming techniques affect the taste of their product.
In 2018 we are developing our relationship with Minasul further by deepening our involvement with a new group of female coffee producers - AMECAFE.
We have recently started buying coffee from AMECAFE - a group of women in the Mantiqueira de Minas, who make up a unique group of producers from low-income families.