Marie Nakao Sasaki started working on her parents’ farm in 2004, when she decided to leave Sao Paulo and embrace a new challenge in Patos de Minas. But her family’s journey in coffee began many years earlier, when her grandfather emigrated from Japan in search of new opportunities and found himself in the agricultural business, including coffee. Marie’s parents, Mitsuo and Fumie, followed in his footsteps and started the Fazenda Catanduva, over 30 years ago. They were among the first to produce coffee in the Cerrado Mineiro region, where they became well respected for their positive and efficient approach to the business . Marie took on the challenge of administration on the farm, opening doors in the areas of sustainability, social responsibility, certifications and looking at continuous improvements and people management. Thanks to these efforts, the Fazenda now boasts certifications from UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Starbucks, Nespresso, 4C and Certifica Minas. Marie’s parents left the farm to her and her siblings Alfredo and Claudia, who now manage the farm together as their parents’ legacy.
“In our life we need dedication, hard work and luck” – Mitsuo Nakao
This is our third year working with Marie and Fazenda Catanduva. We were amazed by the balance of the coffee lot. Catanduva produces a range of coffee varieties using Natural, Pulped Natural & Washed processing techniques. The make use of anaerobic fermentations to improve cup complexity.
Cerrado Mineiro is one of most biodiverse areas in Brazil, in particular with it’s wide variety of birds. It is also an area significantly at risk from climate change, making it even more vital that people take care of it. The Fazenda Catanduva team plays an important role in educating their local community on how they can help combat climate change, including hosting events with professional speakers.