Procopio Junqueira inherited a small piece of land from his family side, and he worked his entire life to be able to multiply it, and he did: he bought one farm for each of his 4 sons and daughters. He is 96 now, still growing coffee and passing off that knowledge for 3 generations.
Condado has a mixture of incredible characteristics: its ground, altitude, productivity, location, and varieties.
The farm has 8 water sources, a little riverside that crosses it (and we protect through planting regional trees), hawks, toucans, yellow canaries, wild dogs, cascavel snakes, armadillos, and plenty of other fauna species are easily spotted in a farm tour. 32 people live on the farm today, from children to retired workers. Children have access to the local school and then to the city school that is 11 miles away. The owners have been providing training and financing, since winter of 2017, for local women so they can learn how to create other products from the coffee to sell into the Brazilian market.
Once coffee is harvested, it goes down the hills to our wet processing area, where it is pulped, part of it is fermented, and another part gets its mucilage removed mechanically. The pulped coffee goes to the special coffee patio, a nice protected area, where it stays and it is revolved from 3 to 10 days, depending on weather. Once it gets to 11.5% humidity it goes to our reposing wooden rooms where it stays resting for 30 to 45 days. After getting plenty of resting, the coffee is hulled and bagged. There is 1 pulping station with the mechanic demucilager, 4 mechanic driers, and 1 hulling station. They are investing next year on fermentation tanks (currently done in truck carts) and African drying beds.
About Brazilian Coffee
Brazil is well-known as the world's largest coffee producer. The legend regarding how coffee first came to Brazil is also fairly well-known. A Lt. Col. from Brazil was sent to neighboring French Guiana, controlled by France at the time, to smuggle some coffee beans back to Brazil. He allegedly achieved this through seduction and deceit. Though, some believe that French settlers eventually brought coffee to the Portuguese controlled country themselves. Either way, Brazil has since come to dominate the global coffee market by accounting for nearly a third of the world's production.
Coffee from Brazil can vary widely in quality. You will find the largest commercial farms down to the smallest family plots and everything, along with every farming practice, in between. There have even been documented instances of slavery on over a dozen mid-sized farms in recent years.
Our focus in Brazil is to work with both conventional, mechanized harvest, farms and natural, traditional method, farmers and co-ops. Our Buying Network members are looking for both products. In Brazil, as in most origins where The Coffee Co-Mission works, our Directors source through family ties. This helps ensure long-term quality, stability, and the integrity of our vertically integrated supply chain, even in this vast area.
Brazil is not without its issues. Many years of deforestation have left some farms less protected from climate change’s consequences. Drought and pests, such as roya fungus and bean boring beetles, can ravage 30-70% of a harvest. Mechanized practices and governmental regulations make reforestation a tough sell in some regions, but this and better irrigation and fertilization practices are the main focuses of The Coffee Co-Mission's efforts to help the people of Brazil.