Reusable masks are distributed to the communities of Caparaó, Alto Jequitibá, and Manhumirim
To prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Coffee Exporter Atlantica Coffee distributed 5,000 reusable masks free of charge in the Matas de Minas region cities of Caparaó, Alto Jequitibá and Manhumirim.
These are the municipalities where we source the Arabica coffee that we export to more than 40 countries. We believe in the importance of making a positive contribution to the communities where we operate. In light of the major impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on public health as well as the economy, this action was one way we found to help the local population.
Our goal was to help families that are experiencing hardship due to the pandemic. Some people still do not have access to masks, which are not only important to preventing the spread of COVID-19, but mandatory in public spaces.
At the same time, many businesses are closed due to quarantine and as a result of the floods that devastated these cities in early 2020.
By hiring local seamstresses to sew the thousands of masks that were donated, Atlantica demonstrated its commitment to local labor.
Use of local labor to manufacture masks
To manufacture the protective masks, Coffee Exporter Atlantica Coffee hired six local seamstresses in order to contribute to income generation in the region.
Each seamstress received instructional videos that enabled them to make masks from the safety of their homes. Atlantica thus operated on two fronts: boosting the local economy by hiring residents of Caparaó and Alto Jequitibá and helping out local residents by donating the masks.
In addition to the videos, the seamstresses were supplied with kits that included pieces of TNT 40 fabric and pre-cut hypoallergenic elastic to facilitate the sewing process. We also counted on our partnership with a manufacturer in Viçosa, whose laser cutting machines further sped up production.
As we all know, the use of 70% isopropyl alcohol is essential for the prevention of COVID-19. Thus, we distributed a bottle to each seamstress for greater protection.
The masks were made with TNT 40 fabric, recommended by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and feature hypoallergenic elastics to improve wearer comfort.
We chose a washable fabric because it has a longer lifespan, avoiding premature discard, and is thus a more sustainable product that people can use for more time.
Social action of the Sustainability Committee
The project, which was developed by the Sustainability Committee in collaboration with employees of Atlantica Coffee’s local offices, benefited hundreds of families in the Matas de Minas region.
We believe that sustainability actions should not only benefit coffee farmers, but also the communities where we operate. We are increasingly devoted to improving the sustainability of Brazilian coffee.
A time for empathy and solidarity
Caparaó and Alto Jequitibá are small towns of 5,424 and 8,528 inhabitants, respectively. The majority of businesses are family-owned and thus highly vulnerable to health and economic crises. With this in mind, Atlantica Coffee decided to make masks to donate to these communities.
This project helped the people of Atlantica Coffee realize that even small actions can help people in the communities where we operate and have a positive impact on society.
In the midst of this global pandemic, we must have empathy for others, particularly those in precarious circumstances.
Beyond solidarity, we must also learn what we can do to help our neighbors. Together, we will get through this.
In the meantime, our goal is to demonstrate solidarity through a willing and committed team. We thank everyone who showed that they care by participating in this activity.