Varginha – The City of Brazilian Green Arabica Coffee

Varginha – The City of Brazilian Green Arabica Coffee

Brazilian green coffee is known worldwide for being at the top of the rankings when it comes to coffee production, quality, and export. The state of Minas Gerais is responsible for much of this merit and boasts several cities distinguished for the sophistication and volume of Brazilian coffee they export. Varginha, which was the leading exporter of green Arabica coffee in 2019, is one of these cities. Learn more!


Brazil takes pride in being the world’s biggest producer and exporter of green Arabica coffee, a position it has held for nearly 150 years. The state of Minas Gerais is responsible for more than half of this production. 


Currently, Minas Gerais is Brazil’s second most populous state and is the nation’s leading coffee producer. There are 853 cities in the state, comprising 15.5% of the total cities in the country. Green coffee cultivation thrives in four regions in particular:

  • South Minas (Guaxupé, Varginha,  Alfenas, and others);
  • Matas de Minas (Espera Feliz, Manhuaçu, etc.);
  • Cerrado Mineiro (Carmo de Paranaíba, Pato de Minas, Patrocínio, etc.);
  • Chapada de Minas (Capelinha, Angelândia, etc.);


Today, these cities are recognized not only for the quantity of coffee they produce, but also for the quality of their beans, according to the Minas Gerais Federation of Agriculture and Livestock (FAEMG).


The City of Varginha

Foto da cidade de Varginha

Varginha is one of many Mineiro (Minas Gerais) cities that stand out when it comes to Brazilian coffee. The municipality is located in the southern region of Minas Gerais, on the shores of Lake Furnas, and is equidistant from three Brazilian capitals: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte.


In 2007, Veja magazine voted Varginha Brazil’s 7th best city to live and invest in. In 1996, the city attained international fame due to an alleged sighting of extraterrestrial creatures, which became known as the “ET of Varginha.” 


The city of Varginha is one of the main centers for the Brazilian coffee trade, and exports to the whole world. The southern Minas region in which it is located is renowned as a major producer and important origin of quality coffees and trades the bean with various countries. 


Varginha has been recognized as a hub for the coffee trade since the 20th century. Though it is not the biggest coffee producer, the region is one of the biggest trading centers for beans. 


Why is Varginha – MG the city of coffee?


The southern region of Minas Gerais is the largest producer of Brazilian coffee. While the city of Três Pontas is the region’s leading producer, Varginha is its largest trading hub.


Thanks to coffee, in 2010, the city of Varginha was Minas Gerais’ third largest exporter. The city brings together service providers, warehouses, brokerages, and major exporters of Brazilian coffee; in addition, a unit of the Federal Revenue Office (Receita Federal) and a dry port further facilitate the sale of much of the local harvest to international markets. 


According to a report by TV Princesa, an affiliate of Rede Minas, the Varginha Customs Center (Estação Aduaneira de Varginha), one of the state’s biggest exporters, has already shipped 16 million bags out of the country this year alone and leads export rankings, with USD $461 million in the period.


Varginha’s green coffee trade directly influences the life of nearly three million people in the southern region of Minas Gerais. The city’s tax incentives; its proximity to the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Santos; and the dry port attract exporters to the city where they will find all of the infrastructure and services necessary to prepare Brazilian coffees for export. 


Varginha’s green coffee culture positively affects various sectors of the population and is the motor of the economy. It drives commerce and purchasing power, affecting the income generation of those who live off coffee production and trade. This influence and the creation of a range of businesses related to coffee culture mobilized all sectors of Varginha’s society, making Varginha the leading green Arabica coffee exporter in 2019. The further appreciation of the coffee culture will benefit everyone. 


Atlantica Coffee is moving!

Escritório administrativo Atlantica Coffee em Varginha

Atlantica Coffee’s administrative office, which is presently located in the Minas Gerais capital of Belo Horizonte, will move to Varginha.


With the move scheduled for early 2020, the Trading, Logistics, Accounting, Fiscal, Financial, Legal, Controllership, and Organizational Development departments currently located in Belo Horizonte will join the Varginha team. The move will further streamline the sourcing, warehousing, logistics, and marketing processes, allowing us to provide better service to our partners. 


Moreover, Varginha’s strategic location in the heart of southern Minas, the country’s main region for the production of green Arabica coffee, and its proximity to Brazil’s major ports, including Rio de Janeiro and Santos, will optimize the flow and improve the competitiveness of our coffees. 



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Brazil is the world leader in coffee production and exports. In addition to the search for increased productivity, there is an increasing effort by producers to grow quality coffee and the satisfaction of environmental, social and economic criteria worldwide.

Through certifications, coffee growers adapt to good agricultural, environmental, social and food security practices and allow the traceability of beans.

Atlantica Coffee is together in this journey, through the certification groups that bring many advantages to the coffee grower who is suitable for the certifications, walking together towards a common goal.

We work with the following certifications and programs:

Rainforest Alliance
C.A.F.E Practices – Starbucks
Certifica Minas


Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization that works to preserve biodiversity and enforce sustainability through practices regarding the use of the soil, commercial activities and consumption.

Rainforest Alliance issues a seal or certificate that identifies and ensures the product was produced with responsibility.

Therefore, they devised a Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification system that establishes the criteria of auditions to be held in companies that acquire products from farms certified by Rainforest Alliance.

CoC is a traceability process tracing products from its origination in a certified farm through to final consumers, following up every single intermediate stage of fabrication, transport, commercialization and storage, thus ensuring that all declarations of sustainability have been verified.

Rainforest Alliance audition and certification services are managed and carried out in their RA-Cert business unit, which is an authorized certifier that undertakes auditions enforcing Rainforest Alliance’s Sustainable Agriculture Standards.

As a result, farms and companies that have been certified are entitled to use the Green Frog Seal – Rainforest Alliance Certified.


BSCA – Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association is a certification designed mainly to foster technical improvements in production, commercialization and industrialization of Special Coffees.

Their major goal is to elevate the Brazilian standards of excellence that will be delivered on both domestic and international markets.

The organization understands that Special Coffees are those that are free from impurities and defects and have special sensorial attributes, which means the beverage will present cleanliness, sweetness, and a well-bodied and acidity balance.

In addition to these qualities, Special Coffees must provide certified traceability and respect all social, economic and environmental sustainability criteria regarding every single production step to be taken.

BSC – Brazilian Special Coffee is the only Brazilian institution that certifies lots that can be monitored by means of the Special Coffees Quality Control seals.

In 1998, in association with Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), BSC created the coffee quality contest Cup of Excellence Brazil. This contest enables producers to trade their coffees at auctions conducted on the Internet where deals are made at well valued prices when compared to conventional markets.


UTZ Certified is a seal that ensures sustainable agriculture and is displayed by approximately 10,000 different packages of products in more than 116 countries.

This certification shows consumers that products have been sourced in a sustainable manner, from farm to shop shelf, in the whole chain that will deliver the product to your table.

In order to get the certificate, all UTZ suppliers must follow the UTZ Code of Conduct, a document that furnishes specialized guidelines on the best methods of cultivation, on improving working conditions and on taking better care of the environment.

Since 2014, UTZ Certified has been the largest sustainable coffee and cocoa agriculture program in the world. The program comprises coffee, cocoa, tea and hazelnuts certifications.


The main objective of Certifica Minas is to advance Minas Gerais State’s agro-industry boosting production by increasing its competitive insertion on both domestic and international markets.

Their main goal is to deal with restrictions regarding the preservation of animals and plants, also known as zoo-phyto-sanitary control norms.

The organization is in charge of the rural development network program, working in association with Emater-MG (Empresa de Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural do Estado de Minas Gerais).

This certification identifies in coffee growing properties the need of effective improvements and maintenance of quality standards in order to enhance the value of coffees produced in Minas Gerais. Their work aims at new markets and job opportunities, service improvements, proper management of soil, among other requirements.


The 4C verification encompasses not only the consolidation of high standards of coffee, but also compliant economic, social and environmental conditions established for the production and the processing of coffee beans, consequently building more reliable and safer sustainable supply chains.

The coffee is considered compatible with 4C when produced in line with the Code of Conduct of this certifier organization that establishes a set of practices and basic principles of sustainability to be implemented in the cultivation of green beans.

The conformity will be verified by the Verification System and certified with the 4C licenses, which will, sequentially, be issued. 4C coffees are produced in 28 countries for more than 500,000 agricultural producers.

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