As the largest coffee producer worldwide, Brazil produces an average of 43 million bags of coffee each year.
In 2000 the Cooperativa de Pequeños Agricultores de Santana da Vargem MG (COOPASV) which was known as UNIPASV at the time was founded when a small group of farmers came together to acquire PRONAF. In 2003 Fairtrade was presented to the entity and shortly after UNIPASV obtained their certification and became the second entity in Brazil to have this seal. Their coffee is grown from 900 to 1,100 meters above sea level. After twenty years in the industry, COOPASV is a Fairtrade Cooperative with around 100 members.
Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world. The country is responsible for about one-third of the world's coffee production and has over two million hectares of land for coffee growing. Large plots of land are dedicated to coffee farming. Due to its flat terrain, many aspects of production can easily be mechanised, and this has been a significant advantage to Brazilian coffee farmers.
History of Coffee in Brazil
It wasn't until the late 18th century that coffee farming entered the northern part of Brazil. It was after this that coffee plantations spread rapidly throughout the country. Technological advancements in the 20th century were transformative for many Brazilian farms. Quickly it became the most modernised coffee-producing nation worldwide.
Fairtrade continues to provide better conditions for the producers and workers. With main objective to establish direct contact between the producer and exporter, Fairtrade mitigates the instabilities of the global commodities market. The principles governing the cooperative today are:
- Transparency and co-responsibility in the management of the productive and commercial chain;
- A long-term relationship that offers training and support to producers and access to market information;
- Payment of fair price on receipt of the product, financial benefits for the entire community, and financing of production or planting, or the advance payment of the harvest, when necessary;
- A democratic organisation of producers in cooperatives or associations;
- Respect for national and international labor legislation;
- Children must attend school;
- The environment needs to be respected.