Força Café 4th Annual Coffee Quality Competition
6th place, semi-washed
Since 2014, Stockler—a Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) company and a leading coffee exporter in Brazil—and the non-profit coffee foundation Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) have partnered to host Força Café, an annual cupping competition designed to encourage and reward Brazilian specialty producers’ focus on cup quality.
The full name of the project, Fortalecimiento Da Caficultura Familiar, means the strengthening of family farming. Farmers who elect to partner with HRNS work closely with local agronomists who have strong backgrounds in the agricultural sector. This relationship is essential to the program and the basis on which the farmers improve their practices.
In October, InterAmerican Trader Scott MacBride traveled from San Diego to Fazenda da Lagoa, an NKG farm in Minas Gerais, to help judge the fourth annual competition.
More than 250 samples were submitted and cupped over several days, and the 12 best natural and semi-washed (the cherry is de-pulped, but the mucilage isn’t washed off completely) coffees were selected.
“HRNS’s goal is to improve the future livelihoods of Brazil’s coffee-farming families,” Scott explained. “They are working with 5,000+ farmers in various ways, including technical assistance, farmer organizations and climate-related topics. It was exciting to put a spotlight on these small farmers and to taste all the effort and hard work going into the coffees!”
Among those 250+ coffees, this Força Café Alair Geraldo finished sixth in the semi-washed category.
It comes from Alair Geraldo, who for decades was a coffee producer in the Vila de Fátima Community, in the municipality of Manhuaçu. But eventually, he became discouraged by low yields and low prices and for a time decided to work instead as a truck driver. After his daughter married, Don Geraldo’s new son-in-law encouraged him to return to farm, and together they’ve been successfully focusing on improving production and producing higher-quality coffee.
His decision to enter the contest was driven by a desire to have his new efforts recognized and to explore new market opportunities in specialty coffee. Encouraged by last year’s contest, he said, “We are building a new suspended yard to increase our production of specialty coffees.” •