Marina Brito Oliveira and Marcos Willian Pereira are a young couple, whose loving personality truly appears in their coffee. Marina and Marcos run Fazenda Ponte Alta, in the mountainous region of Mantiqueira de Minas, Brazil.
Currently, they are not living on the farm, but soon they will get married and move there to start a new life there. Their life is simple and humble, fully devoted to country life, working on the plantations at an average altitude of 1250 meters and taking care of the animals on the same farm. Fazenda Ponte Alta belongs to Marco’s family and it’s what reminds him most of his father, who passed away 8 years ago. His brothers decided to take different paths, but he wanted to stay and continue his family’s inheritance.
Everything started with Marcos’ grandfather, João Batista. A great entrepreneur with a lot of willpower. He knew the daily burden farmers have to carry to produce high-quality coffee. Indeed, he used to wake up at 2 am to work on his sugar cane plantation. Over years, he had the chance to switch from being a simple employee to the supervisor role on his boss’ farm for over 19 years. This led him, later, to buy a piece of land and to plant 7.000 coffee trees. His family believes that the key ingredients for the recipe of success are: good location, altitude, and nature.
There is a story typical of his grandfather’s life. The Jabuticaba trees, a local fruit you can find growing in the land, are the same João wanted to collect when he was just an employee and had no rights to pick them. He made himself a promise, worked hard, and succeeded. Now everyone from every corner of the region is highly welcome to go there and collect jabuticaba.
“We belong to the third generation of coffee and I love what I do” – M. B. Oliveira
The coffee from Fazenda Ponte Alta is the winner of various local competitions, which have been organized by the Brazilian cooperative, Coopervass. In 2019, The Coffee Quest bought the Number 1 winner in the Natural category, which of course was Ponte Alta.
They deposit every single lot they produce at Coopervass, where all the coffee processing takes place later. The quality of all the coffee they produce is between 83 to 87 points, according to SCA protocols.
Talking with Marina and Marcos, their motivation for a new beginning in their business activity is impressive. This is exactly what pushes them to do better and what attracts us! They aim to improve and differentiate their coffee production by increasing the infrastructure and the suspended terraces where they take care of their coffee beans.
“Come and meet us! We will be happy to make high-quality coffee every day for you and to show the market our potential!” – M. B. Oliveira
One of the main challenges this couple is facing is being in line with labour laws and climate conditions. For example, this year the scarcity of rain was the biggest problem to overcome, which had delayed the fertilization of the soil.
Another important obstacle for their business is to find the right buyers willing to buy their specialty coffee at a fair price. The Coffee Quest together with Coffee Leaf is providing added value to each farmer with transparent prices.
Marina and Marcos are taking efforts to reduce the human impact on the environment. Thanks to the guidance of an agronomist, they limit the use of chemical products, for example when it comes to handling plant diseases. Moreover, on their land, they reserved a space for a preservation area, to protect waterfalls and the forest. Surrounded by the Pamela River, it strategically lies far from the crop and you can even find a waterfall.
Discover other stories from Brazil...
Fazenda Nakamura is located in José Gonçalves, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Cláudio Fujio Nakamura, a 68-year-old, first-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 250 hectares of land, with 60 hectares dedicated to growing coffee. It sits at an elevation of 1,050 m.a.s.l, and with around 80,000 coffee trees in production of the Red and Yellow Catuaí, Arara, and IPR 100 varieties.
Fazenda Santa Monica is located in Cássia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Jean Vilhena Faleiros, a 35-year-old, third-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 84 hectares dedicated to growing coffee. sitting at an elevation of 1,200 m.a.s.l, with around 100,000 coffee trees in production (One of the biggest farms we have ever worked with!). The grow the typical Red and Yellow Catuaí, Arara, and IPR 100 varieties.
Fazenda Alvorada is located in Aricanduva, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Raquel Meirelles, a 30-year-old, fourth-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 233 hectares of land dedicated to growing coffee. It sits at an elevation of 1,100 m.a.s.l, and boast over 25 coffee tree varieties such as Red and Yellow Catuaí, Geisha, Maragogype, Paraíso, Sarchimor, and other amazing local varieties.