Ivan Prado de Melo and Weder Batista are two bold brothers-in-law who run Fazenda do Juquinha in the South of Minas Gerais. They are quite new in the coffee world, but they have lots of experience in farming and very keen on studying and learning better practices for producing coffee. The history of the farm is filled with boldness and bravery.
In 2016, Weder inherited the farm from his father after he passed away, but the family was financially broke at that time. Weder decided to take the chance and put into practice what they originally had in mind: Producing specialty coffee. They had perfect climate conditions, but no experience in the industry. So, why not? In other words, they combined their passion and a practical approach, by learning each day something new and generating jobs for people.
The staff of Fazenda do Juquinha comprises just 2 fixed employees, but during the harvest and fertilization, it expands up to 20-25 members. The families of Weder and Ivan are involved too, especially in supporting them and taking care of the farm in general.
The Coffee Quest truly appreciated the honesty and the expectations of this incredible team. We both share the same meaning of ‘partnership’, where “one wants to help the other and it makes both grow”, to quote Weder’s words.
In the 15 hectares of coffee plantations at Fazenda do Juquinha, they produce mainly: Topazio, Yellow Catuaí, and Yellow Catucaí. However, they aim to grow Geisha too, when the weather conditions will be more favourable. Furthermore, they are looking for integration with other types of cultures, next to those they grow already, for instance, bananas, avocados, lemons.
Their coffee is proudly 100% natural, from the field directly to the suspended terrace where the coffee dries and rests for 50 days. Since they produce different kinds of lots when the volume increases they check if the coffee cherries have enough space in between and whether the humidity is no more than 14%.
Ivan and Weder from Fazenda do Juquinha genuinely showed us their boldness. For them, hard-work goes along with faith and purpose, because – by quoting Ivan – “without them, you don’t get anywhere”. Their goal is to keep investing in research and learning in order to finally have their coffee being recognized as the world champion of quality.
“We hope the partnership with The Coffee Quest will last for the rest of our life. It makes us want to plant more coffee, take better care of the crops because you value our coffee and this is satisfactory.” – Weder
The main challenge for Fazenda do Juquinha is to stay within the costs and combine manual field-work with expenses. Producing specialty coffee requires time, money, and effort not only during harvest season but especially what comes later, such as entering the market and finding reliable clients.
The Coffee Quest is enthusiastic to partner up with such entrepreneurial personalities and hopes to establish a long-lasting relationship with them. We appreciate the endeavour, the passion and audacity they show, which we believe are essential elements for a brighter and promising future.
“We would like to thank you, who value our product because if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to survive here! Many don’t value the producer, but you value our work.” – Weder
The passion and dedication of Weder and Ivan are perceivable from every aspect of their farm. The environment, for example, is central to their agenda. To avoid chemical fertilizers and prevent soil erosion, they use organic minerals for farming and planned to create a new area where to plant coffee without ploughing the soil first. In other words, all minerals present in the soil will be preserved.
Moreover, Fazenda do Juquinha believes we, humans, totally depend on the environment and this motivates them to look for and adopt new sustainable practices in order to be part of environmental programs.
“We always seek to take good care of the environment because we depend on it” – Ivan
Discover other stories from Brazil...
Fazenda Do Salto, Mangalarga Marchador!
In 2019 we visited the 800 hectares farm “Fazenda do Salto” which has a long history that goes back 100 years ago. Coffee and horses! Otávio Reis is the 5th generation is experimenting to improve quality, we are happy to be part of it.
Cocapil’s Mogiana Gold
Cocapil, one of the sizeable cooperatives that play critical role in contributing to the social and economical development of their region.
The agroforestry approach by Fazenda Pedra Preta
Agroforestry aims to create a sustainable alternative to monoculture, tackles climate change and reverses the effects of deforestation.