Brazil­ian farmer hopes for sweeter cof­fee mar­ket

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

Brazil­ian farmer Mar­cos Croce has wo­ken up and smelled the cof­fee -- em­brac­ing the or­ganic trend and buck­ing Brazil's long-held sta­tus as a mass pro­ducer of poor qual­ity beans.

His Ha­cienda Am­bi­en­tal For­taleza plan­ta­tion, sur­rounded by trop­i­cal plants and trees in Sao Paulo state, goes against ev­ery­thing that has made Brazil the world's big­gest, though hardly most ap­pre­ci­ated, source of cof­fee.

Croce's spe­cialty-grade cof­fee grows or­gan­i­cally: some of the plants in the sun, oth­ers in the shade, and the soil is fer­til­izer free. "We will never man­age to com­pete in terms of quan­tity, but here we have man­aged to stand apart with con­sis­tent qual­ity," Croce, 62, said as he walked be­tween rows of shrubs speck­led with red cof­fee beans. The ha­cienda stands 3,280 feet (1,000 me­ters) above sea level, some 185 miles (300 kilo­me­ters) north of Brazil's fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal and big­gest city, Sao Paulo. It has been pro­duc­ing cof­fee since 1890, most of that with an eye on the mass mar­ket and us­ing fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides.

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