In 2018 we started a new relationship with AMECAFE - a group of female coffee farmers in Brazil.
The group consists of 50 female farmers who all hand-pick at 1400m (both of which are rare in Brazil). Before now they have been selling to local intermediaries, but, thanks to out partners at the Minasul cooperative, we have been able to purchase a full container of their coffee this year, for a price 125% higher than what they had been receiving!
Leticia Seda, farm owner in the Mantiqueira de Minas region, and had been a Minasul member for a long time, producing high quality score grading coffees. When she discovered that her neighbours were selling their coffees to local buyers instead and for very low prices (up to 30% less than the coffee market prices), she decided to take them to Minasul's specialty coffee department.
Leticia and her neighbours' coffees all scored very well (some lot separations cupped as high as 88!) and, earlier in 2018, joined the Minasul cooperative as the AMECAFE collective.
By working with Minasul, the members of AMECAFE have gained a price and market security that they previously have no way of reaching. They benefit from the co-op's infrastructure, and benefits including courses on farming and education, assistance with transport, storage and commercialisation, and agronomy and strategy planning for increased efficiency and yields.
We were introduced to AMECAFE in 2018 and in the same year committed to purchasing their first container of coffee through Minasul. The producers desired a Fair-trade price but did not have the resources to become certified. After hearing this we offered to pay a farm gate price of fair-trade and absorb all risk, meaning in 2019 we can start together in building a shared objective.
This commitment will make a big impact to this producing group, and Maria (sales director for Minasul) was “profoundly moved” to hear we want to make this commitment.
When we come to the 2019 harvest, we will be helping AMECAFE reinvest more into quality practices, which will add further premiums on top of this fixed price model.