Sustainability at Fazenda Primavera

Ally Coffee is part of a group of agribusinesses with roots in Brazil, among them the vertically integrated Fazenda Primavera, which has been our innovation and pilot project farm for more than four years.

In 2016, Brazil’s Globo Rural magazine named Fazenda Primavera the third most sustainable farm in Brazil. Leonardo Tavares, Primavera’s Agricultural Director, identifies the three core elements of the farm’s sustainability: water recycling for regenerative power, natural fertilizer from composted coffee pulp, and mahogany trees intercropped as shade. Watch the interview and farm tour here.

Pulped Natural coffee processed using minimal water. Tending the nurseries.

Primavera has been producing coffee for almost nine years. During this time, Leonardo and the agricultural team have visited many farms across Brazil, asking questions and starting conversations about why things are done certain ways, and recording all the various answers. Putting this puzzle together piece by piece, Primavera has determined the best practices to manage the farm as sustainably as possible and built its standards of operation.

Water for depulping coffee is used many times. After the depulping process, water is then used inside the power plant itself, which is a closed circuit. Next it goes to a decanting tank, where it is already rich in nutrients and can be returned to the soil to save on natural fertilizers.

Pulp from depulped coffee cherries is also used as a natural fertilizer. Cherry skins are left to decompose for one year. The further along the fruit is in its decomposition, the more available its nutrients are to the soil and ultimately the coffee trees, making it a very powerful fertilizer.

A sustainable investment unique to Primavera is its mahogany forest. Fazenda Primavera recognizes that reforestation is a top global priority for sustainability and especially so in Brazil, where rates of deforestation are staggering. Mahogany planted with coffee also guarantees a better quality coffee by shading the coffee trees, since during the day it can be too hot and at night too cold. The shade reduces the temperature disparity during a 24-hour cycle.

Mahogany shading coffee trees. In the mill at Fazenda Primavera.

Primavera’s team also works to develop the local coffee sector. Most of Brazilian coffee production is still family production, even though larger agribusinesses often attract more attention. These local producers today have the opportunity to access to the same information about best practices for sustainable production that Primavera enjoys. The team visits neighboring farms to teach what Primavera’s strategies does so that the whole region can together reach the same elevated level of quality and profitability.

Primavera has Rainforest Alliance certification and 4C and Café Practices verifications of sustainability.

Drying patios at Fazenda Primavera.
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