Brazil Forca Cafe Winner Zelia de Oliveira

Producer Zelia Oliveira

*Eighth-place winner in the Natural category of the 2020 Forca Café Championship.

Zelia Aparecida de Oliveira is a coffee grower from the Vargem Grande community in Lambari and a proud member of AMECAFE, a women-only coffee organization. Zelia has been producing coffee, with the help of her husband and son, since 2010, when she purchased her property, Sítio Meus Netos.

“Our biggest motivation for producing quality coffees was to add value to them and promote our coffees," she says. On Sítio Meus Netos, Zelia and her family are focused on preserving the environment, to have a better quality of family life.

Says Zelia, “Coffee is the achievement of our dreams.”

AMECAFE

The Association of Coffee Women Entrepreneurs in Serra da Mantiqueira (AMECAFÉ Mantiqueira) is a non-profit social entity that today includes 154 women producers from the municipalities of São Gonçalo do Sapucaí, Campanha, Cambuquira, Conceição do Rio Verde, Lambari, Heliodora, Pedralva, Cristina, Santa Rita do Sapucaí and Jesuânia, in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The group came together in 2015, initially with 28 women. Some women came to the group without property of their own, offering their labor, and eventually saved enough to purchase land. The only requirement for membership is that each woman registers for a farmer identification number in her own name — not her husband’s, as is traditional in Brazil.

The coffee-focused nonprofit Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) do Brasil has worked with AMECAFÉ Mantiqueira members for several years now, helping them to continually increase cup quality and overcome obstacles to success.

When the group needed a building in which to store their agrochemicals, HRNS donated the money for the cinderblocks. "It was only $100,” an HRNS leader told InterAmerican. “Sometimes people just need a little push between thinking something’s impossible and realizing what they can accomplish."


Cupping notes: Chocolate, honey, caramel, pineapple, floral; bright, juicy acidity, creamy, syrupy body.

Total bags: 9

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