Sustainability is not only an important issue for the future of coffee farming in Brazil and other coffee-producing countries: it is transforming agriculture throughout the world.
The concept of sustainability in coffee arose from the need to protect both the environment and the well-being of the people involved in coffee production. This implies adopting economically efficient practices; respecting environmental limits and, above all, serving as an instrument of social justice that promotes social inclusion.
Consumers are more concerned than ever with the origin of their foods, as well as with safety throughout the production process. There is a growing demand, particularly in developed countries, for healthy products that are socially correct, allowing for the incorporation of new quality attributes.
The productive sector’s efforts to make Brazilian coffee farming a reference in sustainability with respect to nature and the people involved in production are notorious.
The production of sustainable coffee is not only essential for strengthening the competitiveness and profitability of the Brazilian coffee agribusiness chain, but also for ensuring the survival of coffee farming in Brazil and worldwide.
COFFEE MARKET SEEKS SUSTAINABLE COFFEES
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of new trends in coffee consumption, such as an increase in the consumption of coffee outside of the home and in the workplace; the success of single-cup coffee makers; and rising numbers of third wave coffee shops and specialty coffee stores.
The growing variety of differentiated coffees on supermarket shelves, such as gourmet, fresh, organic, certified, artisanal, and specialty, also bears witness to changing buying patterns. Consumers are increasingly seeking out differentiated coffees, both in internal and external markets.
In addition to physical characteristics, such as origin, variety, color, and size, the quality attributes of sustainable coffee also take into account labor, production, management, and environmental conditions.
Quality coffee and sustainability must go hand in hand and be understood as business opportunities that aggregate value to the coffee without compromising the balance between the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of its production.
Brazilian coffee exporters must always be attentive to market movements in terms of coffee and sustainability, just as the world’s large coffee roasters are already doing. The innovative efforts of a coffee exporter must concentrate on encouraging and promoting sustainability in the production and commercialization of coffee in Brazil.
THE PRODUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE COFFEE IN BRAZIL
The climate, soil, temperature, humidity, and other factors favor coffee production in Brazil, considered to be the world’s biggest coffee producer. Over the years, technological advances in agriculture have enabled a significant increase in the productivity of Brazilian coffee farming.
It must be emphasized that the challenges of meeting sustainability criteria for certification are even more arduous for Brazilian producers because Brazilian labor and environmental laws are considered among the most advanced and strict in the world.
Thus, Brazil’s high productivity levels are achieved within a rigid scenario of social and environmental protection, making Brazilian coffee even more competitive.
In addition to the strict environmental and social requirements of Brazilian legislation, consumers and market players also exert considerable pressure for sustainable coffee. They demand traceable foods that are produced in accordance with good environmental, economic, social, and productive practices, both within and outside farm gates.
The Brazilian coffee industry has been a leading coffee producer and exporter for decades. Today, the industry directs efforts to strengthen the sustainable production of quality coffees in Brazil, with a view toward the future of coffee farming and the next generations.
The future of Brazilian coffee farming depends upon sustainable production of safe food that fosters good environmental, social, and economic practices throughout the world.
Consumers around the world are more concerned with the social and environmental responsibility of Brazilian coffee export, as well as the types of beans offered. In order to meet the global demand for various types of coffee beans, Brazilian coffee exporters are currently seeking to increase their offerings of differentiated coffees—those of superior quality or which have a certificate of sustainable practices.
With these new needs in mind, certifications were created to assure the consumer of respect for the producing country’s labor and environmental laws and adherence to international criteria for good social, environmental, and economic practices. Sustainable Brazilian coffee takes these into consideration.
Certification allows for supplier control with regard to compliance with good agricultural, environmental, and labor practices. Some of the advantages of being certified include better organization, management, liquidity, the opening of the market, and improvement in the prices paid to the producer for coffee.
Certification is thus an excellent tool for achieving sustainability, as they share a common goal. Certified coffee has undergone rigorous audits by regulatory bodies, thus bringing greater security to the consumer.
Coffee exporter Atlantica Coffee understands that certifications reflect necessary requirements for economically viable, environmentally correct, and socially just coffee production.
It must be emphasized, however, that certification is a path to sustainability and not an end in itself. Sustainability is the goal, while certification is but one of the tools for achieving that goal.
We believe in the value of certifications and invest in our partner producers so that they can earn them.
We work with certified coffees and programs such as:
UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices Certification Program, 4C, and Certifica Minas.
SUSTAINABILITY AT ATLANTICA COFFEE
As one of Brazil’s biggest coffee exporters, Atlantica Coffee strongly believes in the importance of sustainability to the future of the Brazilian coffee industry.
We are continually seeking new ways of fulfilling our responsibility to supply the world with sustainable coffee that takes into account the “tripod of sustainability”: the alignment of social, environmental, and economic concerns.
In light of the new challenges that Brazilian coffee farming will face, a broad perspective that takes into account the continuous adaptation necessary to meet sustainability requirements must be adopted.
Valuing sustainable production is one of the ways that the coffee exporter Atlantica Coffee keeps believing and investing in the coffee culture.
We are increasingly attentive to the movements of each of the links in the coffee chain in order to ensure the preservation of the entire coffee chain for generations to come.
Auditing Atlantica Coffee’s certification groups
Certification allows Brazilian coffee growers to incorporate more easily by increasing their access to new markets. However, the costs associated with certification are often prohibitive to growers. Therefore, Atlantica Coffee covers the cost of auditing certifications for the 4C and Practices producer group.
Each group earns joint certification, making the commitment of each member coffee grower essential to their achievement. The audits follow risk management methodologies that make it impossible to predict who will be audited.
Atlantica Coffee visits the properties of Brazilian coffee growers prior to their audit by a third party, offering certification consultation services.
During these visits, producers learn how the certification program works and whether they will need to make changes to any of their structures or internal practices in order to obtain certification.
Through this “pre-audit” process, our sustainability team helps producers modify their property prior to the auditor’s visit.
By believing in and investing in the coffee culture, Atlantica Coffee is together with Brazilian coffee growers on the journey towards sustainability.
Learn more about Atlantica Coffee’s sustainability efforts and certifications: