Fazenda Pantano is located in the Cerrado, close to the city of Patos de Minas and an altitude of 1,150 metres and covers a total area of 550 hectares. More than 300 hectares of the land are allocated for permanent natural forest reserves, which is 6 times more than the legal requirement under Brazilian law. The farm has over 200 coffee varietals, most of which are in experimental production, and is working closely with the Brazilian Coffee Research Institute to experiment with processing and flavour.
Fazenda Pantano had just received an award from Brazil’s most prestigious agricultural magazine “Globo Rural”. The magazine recently announced 4 national awards for Sustainable Practices in 4 categories; Meat Production, Perennial Crops, Annual Crops and Forestry.
There were 189 finalists in the Perennial group which mostly consisted of orange growers. All of these 189 farms had to be audited with only 30 farms going into the final phase, and Fazenda Pantano came out on top! The auditors were assessing three main categories on each farm: food safety, environment and social factors.
The most impressive factor on Fazenda Pantano is owner Wagner’s realisation that each part of his land is different and requires varying levels of care. He is fastidious with waste and has plans in place to reduce the use of chemicals and water as much as possible in the coming years. Currently, Wagner’s farm is divided into plots which are made up of 1 hectare squares. He has conducted soil analysis on
each hectare of his farm and prescribes individual treatment with water and pesticides accordingly. There is a meteorological station on site to ensure water is being used correctly, taking into account the following factors on each hectare:
• Daily necessity of water
• Amount of rain
• Retention of water in soil
• Effect of evaporation and wind
• Amount of ground water in first 40cm of soil
Fazenda Pantano is a pioneering farm in Minas Gerais being the first one in the region to treat each hectare individually. Wagner and Fazenda Pântano have become a world reference for sustainability and we are very proud of their achievements. Not only are the coffees of outstanding quality but this commitment to a sustainable and ethical approach is a philosophy we both share.
The farm supports a local school and also funds various training schemes and courses for staff. It is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Coffee growing in Brazil: Brazil is South America’s most influential and economically powerful country and one of the world’s largest economies. During the last few years great strides have been made in lifting millions out of poverty across the country and Brazil’s position as coffee powerhouse of the world has been a significant contributing factor.
Coffee was introduced to Brazil in 1720 – legend has it, via intrigue and a few seedlings smuggled out of Guiana in a bouquet… Now Brazil’s dominance in world coffee production is unrivalled, with annual crops of 60 million bags becoming commonplace. Coffee plantations now cover about 10,000 square miles, with 6 billion trees. 74% are Arabica and 26% Robusta. The states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Parana are the largest producers due to suitable climate and rich soil.
Our particular lot of beans are from the coffee varietal Arabica Uva and are processed at the farm using the pulped natural method: the Uva cherries are picked and pulped to remove all mucilage and then immediately laid on African style beds for air drying. This results in a cleaner cup than natural processed coffee, plus brighter notes and a lighter body, but with greater complexity. Conversely pulped naturals have and more body and less acidity than the fully washed coffees of Brazil. All processing takes place on the farm and the coffee is only hulled at the point of export and packed into grainpro sacks to preserve flavour and freshness.