Finally, we were able to make it happen: our first, long-awaited direct trade. Fabricio from Sancoffee and Gilles from Algrano set the course for this in spring 2019 when they visited us in our coffee roastery in Zurich. As luck would have it, we met Fabricio again at the World of Coffee in Berlin. Over coffee, we exchanged ideas about our shared passion and discussed our plans for the future.
Spoil-Alert: We are incredibly pleased to have found a sparing partner in Sancoffee that shares our visions and values.
The cooperative invests a lot of time and heart and soul in its communities and in the further education of the coffee farmers. It maintains and expands its network and enables the small farmers to access the world market, where quality is valued and paid for. Sancoffee lays a milestone for a sustainable future of coffee, which we would like to support in the long term.
Our first direct trade “Boa Vista” from Sancoffee is available in our online store.
For those who want to know more about the partnership with Sancoffee here some more insights of our field trip and background information about the cooperative:
In the same year of the World of Coffee in Berlin, I, David, started my trip to South America. Of course, I did not want to miss the opportunity to visit Sancoffee on their farm in Brazil.
At the airport in Belo Horizon, the driver was already waiting for us. The fact that Joao spoke neither Spanish nor Portuñol did not disturb our communication much. Because on the back seat of the jeep, besides Pao de Queijo and other treasures, we found a list of essential translations, which we had to test out right away: “Joao, can you please turn down the air conditioning? Obrigado.”
Another 6 hours of travel later, the SUV pulled into the Fazenda Engenho da Gloria. It was dark night when our host, Ana Claudia, welcomed us in good spirits. The silhouettes of the building and the surrounding area gave us only a hint of how beautiful the farm would actually be in daylight. After a delicious dinner, Ana Claudia led us to our room, where we caught up on our much-needed snooze.
A tour of the magnificent farm garden is a wonderful way to start the day. The extensive breakfast and a good cup of freshly brewed coffee from Ana Claudia did the rest. My expectations for the next days were high and I have not been disappointed. With full bellies, we headed to the farm of the co-founder of the cooperative. Henrique Cambraia introduced us to the origins, values and vision of Sancoffee.
A nice video portrait about Sancoffee is available here.
The cooperative sees itself as a driving force for coffee quality in Campo das Vertentes and strives to consistently produce high-quality coffee beans. Applying advanced farming practices while not sacrificing sustainability is their credo.
Sancoffee gives coffee farmers access to international markets and is committed to long-term partnerships with coffee roasters and importers around the world. These are not just empty promises, but hard work that Sancoffee has implemented over the past 10 years.
Now we have found it, the partner that matches our values.
We drive through the countless hectares of coffee plantations, enjoy the beautiful view and listen to Henrique’s anecdotes. It is impressive how many small projects the team takes on. At the time of our visit, some employees were busy reconstructing the natural course of a stream. The water provides many valuable minerals for the soil, which are very important for coffee and also for the flora and fauna of the region.
In the afternoon, we got down to the nitty-gritty. The aim of the cupping was to decide which coffees we would include in the miró coffee range. Joao Marcos, Q-Grader at Sancoffee, had already prepared 16 coffees of 5 cups each. We sipped our way through and chose the 4 winners. The first candidate is a so-called crowd pleaser. A coffee that has specialty character without overwhelming consumers when they drink it. Its flavor profile is consistent, and the coffee bean works with different brewing methods.
Pumped up on caffeine, a tour of the Milling Station and the transshipment warehouse was just what we needed. The entire logistics chain ensures full transparency. The Milling Station infrastructure is advanced, organized and clean. Various vibrators as well as a laser sorting machine are in use to reduce or eliminate defects (depending on the setting).
Conclusion: The conversations with the small farmers during our stay opened our eyes and confirmed that we are moving in the right direction. By buying specialty coffee from farming families, we are enabling them to live better lives. Even if the impact is small, we can make a difference. You can do your part by drinking sustainably produced coffee. Make it count.