How the Co-operative works
Short answer: more resources and shared knowledge.
SanCoffee have a centralised lab, warehouse and dry mill, as well as a dedicated team of Q Graders who manage the quality for all the member estates. Working as a group through the central lab enables estates to share and gain from the collective’s many years of combined experience. More so, having total control of their warehouse and dry mill enables complete traceability and precise milling specifications for customers. The specialty graded coffee comes into the warehouse where samples are kept and profiles noted. There are shelves on a giant wall in the cupping lab where each estates’ name is listed, along with descriptions of the various coffees they offer. From here, companies like us work with the lab and choose the coffees which best fulfill the taste profiles we are looking for.
Washing vats at Samambaia, human for scale.
Meticulously planted seedlings
As these estates are run like small factories, technology and agronomy have become key to maintaining quality. You’ll find some of the team working closely with the IAC (Instituto Agriconomico de Campinas), a coffee research institute in Brazil. In a meticulously kept nursery, different coffee varieties, not yet used commercially, are grow and evaluated. SanCoffee have also moved to storing all their coffee in giant polypropylene bags. One of these large bags can house about 60 normal jute bags. The benefits of this are two-fold; it reduces the storage space needed and are made of much better material for storing coffee – the polypropylene bags are firmly woven together, giving just a bit of breath-ability.
Beyond the benefits already listed, SanCoffee as a collaborative export partnership have managed to mitigate the influence of a dangerously low market price. And in most cases, premiums to growers are 30-50% higher than both the local and C price market rates. SanCoffee and its members continue to mobilise and collaborate to strengthen the ability for its members to sell at above local market rates, in turn championing economic sustainability.
2020 marks the inaugural Best SanCup competition among coop members! The best samples from member farms were gathered across three categories; pulped, natural and induced fermentation, and then narrowed down to a top 10. The top 10 were then blindly ranked by an international jury before being put up for an online auction. We’re excited to have purchased a small winning lot from Bom Jardim to share with Australia, and we’re looking forward to seeing how this celebration of great coffee develops in the coming years!
Beyond the Cup
One of the reasons we’ve partnered with SanCoffee for so many years is their drive to positively impact the local community. This is solidified further by their recent achievement of being B-Corp certified!
In order to better coordinate and expand their actions in environmental and social areas, an Impact Committee has been created by SanCoffee. The committee is formed by member coffee growers and will integrate actions across different farms as well as design projects aimed at the conservation of nature. Furthermore, this will provide development opportunities for the Santo Antônio do Amparo surrounding communities.
See below for some small examples of the types of projects the Impact Committee helps facilitate.
Beyond Borders Program
Wanting to to have a greater social impact on neighbouring small holder farms, SanCoffee initiated the Beyond Borders program. This program provides tools to small holders for market access, increased technical knowledge and sensory support.
- 3 Communities
- 157 Families
Environmental Excellent Program
A program to preserve the nature and rich biodiversity of Campo das Verentes through recovering deteriorated land with seedlings, planting native trees and protecting water sources.
- 5,058ha preserved vegetation
- 265 protected springs
- 116,828 plated trees
- 3 recovered gullies
SanCoffee work to provide education and training opportunities to various parts of the community; they support local public child day care centers and co-host several professional training courses for the youth. In addition, they share their vast coffee knowledge with workshops aimed at coffee growers and farm workers.
- 127 trainer workers
- 16 courses on average / per year
- 3 public institutions
- 175 benefited children
We proudly participated in San Coffees very first member based auction called Best SanCup. The top 10 were then blindly ranked by an international jury before being put up for an online auction. We won a few lots that will hit the line-up early 2021!
Matt Slater visit SanCoffee and brought Chris and Matt Smithies along. Once again, we’re amazed and excited at the innovation and goals of the collective. Think Anaerobic tanks and huge nurseries! Read more.
Henrique Cambria (SanCoffee president & owner of Fazenda Samambaia) joins our MICE stand where he proudly presented three experimental processing lots.
Rich’s first visit to SanCoffee and he was amazed at their efficient operations, organised production lines and education around agronomy and processing. Read more.
We released a detailed 3-part series on coffee production in Brazil, featuring some of the SanCoffee estates. You can read it here:
Part I — The History of Brazilian Coffees
Part II — Brazil: One Country, Many Flavours
Part III — Unveiling Mechanical Harvesting Brazil
Another visit to the collective and we’re again impressed with their continual improvement. We helped them judge an internal competition among the farms, and featured the winning coffee as a small lot in our line-up. Read more.
Jacob’s first sourcing trip to Santo Antonio Estates. While Fazenda Sao Paulo technically a ‘farm’ a ‘small city’ is probably a little more accurate with has a church, soccer pitch, school and medical clinic. It was a clear this is a well-run operation! Read more.
Learn more on SanCoffee