From the Field

Monday, August 16, 2021

Strong Sourcing Networks in Brazil

Strong sourcing relationships in Brazil are helping us bring even more excellent coffees to you.

Last year, we reported on our growing sourcing networks in Brazil and spoke with our Specialty Supply Chain Coordinator, Rafael Amaral about our extensive sourcing relationships. To get the latest on our sourcing networks in Brazil, we’ve checked in with Rafael, who’s hard at work helping to source, along with the rest of our team, a wide range of delicious coffees, including our specialty microlots from Mantiqueira Cristina, Campanha and Sao Goncalo (more on these star lots below).

“We’ve quadrupled our sourcing relationships since this time last year,” Rafael says. “We’re becoming known as Specialty buyers in the region, and that’s boosting the relationships we’re creating.”

Our local Sucafina Brazil teams make it possible to connect with producers, visit their farms and build long-term relationships. Sucafina Brazil is constantly building new partnerships with producers and is reaching a lot more regions and growers. Part of that is, as Rafael says, becoming known as a specialty buyer. “Producers talk to each other, and new growers are seeking us out all the time, based on word of mouth.” This expanded awareness leads to more farmers sending their samples to our QC lab. In turn, the increase in samples we receive enables Sucafina Brazil to select the best of the best for sourcing and to work with.

Another reason producers want to work with Sucafina Brazil is the good prices we’re paying for high-quality coffees. “We recognize that coffee production is difficult, and we are paying a good price to growers,” Rafael says. “Those prices are differentiating us in a competitive market.”

We’re also reaching new growers through partnerships with cooperatives and producer groups. “Cooperatives invite us to work with them, and through them, we’re able to access a wide range of growers in the region,” Rafael says. Partnerships with cooperatives also fuel word-of-mouth referrals, as cooperative members speak with their neighbors and other non-members.

The result of all these new relationships is our extensive microlot selection from Cristina, Campana and Sao Goncalo. “These coffees are scoring 86+, and they’re exquisite,” Rafael says. “They’re being grown on diverse, intercropped farms by attentive growers. We’re seeing floral notes, jasmine, lavender and a really nice syrupy sweetness. When the growers know that we will pay them a premium for this quality, they pull out all the stops.” These Naturals are mainly Bourbon, Mundo Novo and Yellow Catucai, a newer variety that does well in the mountains.  Harvest is semi-mechanized and derricadeira (mechanical rakes) to gently remove ripe cherry.  These lots are, for the most part, dried on patios.

The harvest is going on now and we expect fresh crop to begin arriving October and November. The recent frost in Sul de Minas, Cerrado and Mogiana may affect crop size this and next year. We’re dedicated to working with our producing partners to pay fair prices for high-quality coffees and support our partners through difficult crop years. In the meantime, we’re expecting a great selection of microlots this year, reach out to your trader to start booking Brazils now.

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