Understanding the history of coffee is empowering and if you work in coffee, you know that Brazil is king when it comes to productivity. Coffee was produced by slave labor in Brazil from the beginning according to Kline & Luna, Slavery in Brazil. The country rose to #1 spot in 1850's, and producing 1/3 of the worlds coffee today. As slave importation climbed dramatically between the early 1800's and throughout the 1850's, so too did coffee exports.
Above photo: Me along with Miriam Monteiro de Aguiar owner Fazenda Cachoeira, visiting an exceptional family that owns a small coffee farm in Santo Antonio in South Minas Gerais. Miriam is the first female to manage her family farm, Fazenda Cachoeira and interested in pursing along with BD Imports opportunities for inclusive advancements in coffee.
Showing off the land, where 21 out of 45 hectares are used for coffee production. Neige, the wife of the farm owner knows of no other blacks in the region that own land. They have never sold their coffee in the export market, only locally. They are interested in learning how to process better coffee and building international relationships.
Understanding the history of coffee in Brazil, I’ve often wondered where are the Black Brazilians in coffee today. Most I met on a recent trip to Minas Gerais work on small farms and plantations. They carry fond memories of learning from their grandparents skills of working in coffee. They love the land and what working on the farm represents, connecting to their past. Through the women’s empowerment movement we are out to include everyone, those who have contributed to the trade for generations, yet remain invisible today.