Eduardo and his brother from Fazenda Pedra Preta

The agroforestry approach by Fazenda Pedra Preta

People

Eduardo Ferreira de Sousa is a close partner of The Coffee Quest. He is the owner of Fazenda Pedra Preta in Mantiqueira de Minas and one prime example of how we build our partnership with producers.

Our partnership with Eduardo dated back a few years ago when he first planned his agroforestry pilot. In the 2021 harvest season, through The Coffee Quest Brasil, we had our chance to collaborate closely with Eduardo and gained a better overview of his work. 

Eduardo is the real pioneer of regenerative agriculture in Brazil. He is well-known for his own scalable regenerative agriculture pilot called Tropicália – a form of land management using intercropping to create a multi-layered ecosystem. Read more about the Tropicália system set up here.

“The green oasis of the agroforestry plot can be seen from down the road” Eduardo Ferreira de Sousa. 

The objective is clear to Eduardo: Making agroforestry mainstream. His journey started with only 4 hectares of agroforestry in 2019, but he plans to grow this to almost 100 hectares within the next 10 years. His agroforestry system Tropicália has made significant progress so far! 

The Coffee Quest has long supported the concept behind sustainable coffee production. Witnessing Eduardo’s progress and advocacy is one of the reasons why we embraced his goal as soon as we got to know him: scaling up his agroforestry system and introducing regenerative coffee to the world.

The seeds of the coffee-growing tradition in the Capistrano-Ferreira family were sewn far before the beginning of Fazenda Pedra Preta. For more than 100 years, across five generations, the knowledge and heritage of coffee production have been developed and passed down, forming a comprehensive understanding of the particularities within the Mantiqueira micro-region. This has created a historical basis for agronomical practices across decades. 

In more recent years, Eduardo has combined this legacy with modern technologies and innovative practices that encompass ecological preservation. Eduardo wrote his Master’s Thesis on the subject of Agroforestry, and is now putting this theory into practice on his own farm. 

Product

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Eduardo has worked hard in the last three years to develop his pilot farm, going from creating the first batch of 58 bags of specialty coffee to exporting full container volume. Pedra Preta’s Transition Coffee offers good sweetness  and a classic full-bodied undertone. A high-quality, sustainable coffee designed for consistency.

The Coffee Quest is happy to strengthen our partnership with Eduardo to profile his coffee and select two main farm blends at 83/84 points. By creating a long-term relationship with Eduardo, we aim to assist him in maintaining quality consistency.

Right from the beginning of the season, Eduardo has already visualized his own pyramid and where to get his best coffee from, following the pyramid structure of quality as other Brazilian farms. He placed extra attention to map his farm for mechanized harvest and sorting coffee early on. Once the harvest time hits, a large volume represents early picking, and plots with a low ripeness percentage will be sold for internal markets.

Price

The Coffee Quest is working on a premium-based model for clients to get involved in the agroforestry project. We are paying 1 €/kg as a premium for the ongoing pioneering agroforestry farm of Eduardo.

Our premium started as the financial support for Eduardo’s research on building the agroforestry system. However, as the project goes on, we are dedicating it as a contribution for Eduardo to take on greater challenges and upscale his agroforestry pilot. 

How is Eduardo planning to implement resources and support to accomplish his 10-year goal? How does our premium contribute towards his plan? We recently wrote an article to provide an insight into the business model of Eduardo, explaining how all different factors piece together within his agroforestry system. Learn more about it, by clicking the button below!  

Planet

The Tropicalia system aims to create a sustainable alternative to monoculture, combatting climate change threats and reversing the effects of deforestation

The outcome after almost 3 years has been overwhelmingly positive. Benefits of a regenerative farming system include regulated temperatures, pest and disease outbreaks avoided & improved soil quality. 

However, current climate events have revealed a strong indication that regenerative agriculture can be the fighting force against climate volatility. Hence, this is Eduardo’s motivation to speed up his conversion plan.

In 2021, Eduardo also officially took over Pedra Preta from his father, enabling him to start adopting new changes on a greater scale.  Through investing in training courses and new equipment, Eduardo is looking towards a short-term goal ahead: converting 30 hectares (30% of his farm) into agroforestry within 5 years.

How Agroforestry system can reduce climate volatility and give such a positive impact? Read more in the article linked to find out! 

Read more about other farmers from Brazil...

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