When you mention the word Brazil, people inevitably think of three things – carnival, football… and supermodels. Brazil has without much fanfare become an agricultural powerhouse, and is the world’s largest coffee producer and a significant player in the specialty coffee industry. As the 2014 World Cup kicks off, we ask three Brazilian Fairtrade coffee producers what the World Cup means to them.
Daiana Tavares, General Manager, COOPFAM
COOPFAM, a Fairtrade coffee cooperative in Brazil, is the official coffee provider for the World Cup. If you’re going to any world cup games and find yourself drinking coffee, then there’s a good chance it was produced by one of COOPFAM’s 320 Fairtrade certified farmers.
“The farmers of COOPFAM are very excited about the World Cup. It’s an opportunity for us to show people across the world just how good our Brazilian coffee is. We started as a small cooperative of seventy six families back in 1991, with a united determination to increase the productivity of our small, family-run plots. COOPFAM was the first organisation to be certified by Fairtrade in Brazil. We now export coffee to the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia.Providing coffee to one of the largest sporting events in the world is our biggest achievement. I feel so proud that millions of visitors will get to taste our product.”
“The recent drought in Brazil has had an impact on our crop. We forecast that we have lost almost 25% of what we expected to produce. All the cooperative farmers will be working hard during the World Cup, production won’t stop for football – although when Brazil plays, I’m sure we will put our tools down to watch the national team! With the power of our coffee behind them, they are bound to win.”
Alberto Naoyoshi Mannozeet, from Association Agri Livestock, Caconde
“The World Cup in Brazil represents an event that will showcase our arabica coffee to the rest of the world. We have recently become Fairtrade certified and have started to develop the skills to build a strong sustainable business. Fairtrade has made us more aware of how to produce environmentally viable products too, stopping the use of pesticides and producing a crop that is good for the environment, our community – and one that tastes good too!
“The magnitude of the World Cup means great things for Brazilians – not just to football fans. It’s an opportunity for us to greatly improve business relationships with other countries and hopefully increase our export opportunities. The World Cup brings great economic benefits to the country but this event can also help focus on other activities such as making the world more environmentally friendly and aware. As coffee producers, we are doing our bit by creating more environmentally sustainable farming practices.”
Lord Predro Carnell from PRONOVA, Co-op of Coffee growers, Espírito Santo
“The World Cup is an opportunity for smallholders in Brazil to sell their product to the rest of the world. We can compete with other coffee producing countries in terms of quality and the social and environmental conditions that our farmers work under. Through working with Fairtrade, our product has now opened up to entirely new markets and we have learnt new ways to run our farms.
“The World Cup is a chance to showcase Brazil to the world. There is much more to Brazil than soccer. We have a great climate, beautiful countryside and an array of natural resources. We are the world’s seventh wealthiest economy. It is great to have the World Cup on our soil and I hope the event will help the tourists and football fans learn more about the real people of Brazil.”