APAS is an association of 60 producers in the Ferreiras District of Southern Minas Gerais, which uses differentiated coffees, specialty and certification to drive impact for their producers. While Brazil is mostly known for its mega estates, 80% of Brazilians farmers are farms of 30ha or less, and it can be extremely difficult for these producers to compete with farms more than 100 times their size.
Fairtrade & Organic
The association has dealt with this by using Fairtrade and Organic certification to guarantee a minimum price for their producers, and then using this leeway to develop their specialty offering. The association offers selectively hand-picked microlots that compete with the best coffee of Central America, as well as a range of varieties and processes not seen in the commercial estates. They have a wide range of programs supporting good agricultural practices amongst their members, youth engagement and quality improvements for their producers.
As a small scale, producer owned association, APAS are delighted at the opportunity to partner more directly with roasters and retail brands in consumptive markets, and offer a powerful benefit to the Brazilians smallholders who are often overlooked in the wider discussions about global price crises and producer poverty.
The farmers in the region wanted to group together to better the quality of their coffees and improve the producer’s profitability and striving to achieve a better quality of life for their families. The initial meetings began in the producers houses, local school and church hall which at the time was also supported by the Emater-MG (Minas Gerais State Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company). They began by addressing issues such as good agricultural practices in coffee production, purchase of inputs, marketing of coffee and the benefits of working together in an organised manner.
Currently there are 69 members of the group and this lot of coffee comes from 4 producers and farms between 1000 -1400masl.
- João Paulo Borges, Sitio Pica Pau - Total Area: 4.5 hectares - Coffee Production Area: 4.5 hectares
- Nivaldo Donizete, Arantes Nossa Senhora Aparecida - Total Area: 45.93 hectares - Coffee Production Area: 26.1 hectares
- Juscelino Matias Sivleira Sitio Monjolinho - Total Area: 27.2 hectares - Coffee Production Area: 5.5 hectares
- Alexandre de Almeida Meirelles, Santo Antônio Farm Sao Goncalo do Sapucai MG 45 hectares total area, 30 hectares planted with coffee.