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Behind the Beans: Fazenda Rodomundo from Brazil

The Carvalho Dias and Ottoni families have been growing coffee in Brazil since 1890 and are something of an institution in Minas Gerais coffee circles. The fourth generation of Carvalho Dias and Ottoni coffee growers are continuing the family tradition on several farms dotted around the region’s prime coffee growing areas, including Fazenda Rodomunho.

 

The estate is located in the Alto Paranaíba, the highest part of Minas Gerais’ Cerrado region, at some 900-1,050 metres above sea level. It extends over 450 hectares, of which 316 hectares are planted with some 1.3 million coffee trees of Mundo Novo, Catuaí, Acaiá and Icatú varietals.


This 100% Catuaí lot was processed using the natural method. After being picked, the ripe cherries are sorted to remove any under-ripe or damaged cherries; the beans are then moved immediately to dry on the farm’s extensive patios. This method produces the fruity, boozy cup characteristic of the natural process.


Good environmental practice is a priority for Rodomunho, and the area under coffee is interspersed with native forest reserves to maintain a good ecological balance and provide habitat for local birds and animals. Solid wastes from processing are recycled as organic fertilizer, while the use of either the natural or pulped natural process keeps water usage to a minimum. What water that is used is recycled and fully treated to avoid polluting local water courses.


The farm also prioritises good conditions for its workforce, offering: fair wages (well above the average for the sector in Brazil); housing with modern services and utilities; a school; a health clinic; and sports facilities. The farm describes itself as a true ‘agrovillage’.

Rodomunho has won several awards and the family’s coffees are regular Cup of Excellence finalists.

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