Santa Izabel & Monte Verde, Brazil
We’re huge fans of the progress and vision of Fal Café, and have a long-standing and successful direct relationship with them which dates back to 2013. Not only are they regular placeholders in the Cup of Excellence, but their two farms Santa Izabel and Monte Verde in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil are going from strength to strength and are renowned for producing some of the best quality coffee in Brazil.
In March 2019, we visited Fal Café and met with their CEO Humberto Florezi Filho. We were once again impressed with their focus on long-term sustainability - both socially and environmentally. Fal Cafe have invested heavily in infrastructure and education with an aim to help protect the longevity of specialty coffee production in Brazil, and to encourage their local producers to strive for betterment on the land.
Monte Verde is an award winning, Rainforest Alliance Coffee Farm with an elevation range of 1000 - 1260 metres above sea level. It is located in a geographically advantageous coffee-growing region and produces six different varieties on 1,415 acres, alongside 418 acres of natural reserve lands. The farm was selected as a Brazil Cup of Excellence finalist in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won first place in the 2012 EMATER, Minas Gerais State Quality Contest Natural and Pulp Natural categories.
Santa Izabel has 766 acres of the farm dedicated to coffee production and has over 175 acres of natural reserve area. It is one of the first farms in Brazil to employ coffee tree terracing and it is here that Fal Cafe has invested heavily in milling infrastructure, the development of various gardens, a new drying patio, new office spaces and a newly established ‘Neighbours and Friends’ education programme aimed at supporting, upskilling and sharing resources with local producers. Santa Izabel is also the permanent home to seven families, and 35 other employees.
Staff retention is very high at both Monte Verde and Santa Izabel with some employees having worked on the farm for over 5 years, and others their entire lives. When we asked Humberto what he would like to see in the future for Fal Cafe, he told us that he would: ‘Like to invest even more in the next generation; to encourage the application of new thinking, new methodologies and to improve the performance of the farms as a whole - therefore improving the quality of life for those who provide us with such beautiful coffee’.