To celebrate International Coffee Day, the Consulate General of Brazil in Sydney hosted a business breakfast for industry members on 3 October at Australian Museum in Sydney.
The event was in the partnership with Apex Brazil, the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) and Minas Hill Coffee.
On arrival, guest sampled coffees from Brazilian farms including Santo Antonio, Bahia and Vertentes, roasted and served by DC Specialty Coffee in Melbourne.
The Deputy Consul General of Brazil in Sydney and Head of the Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Bureau, Joaquim Pedro Penna, addressed the audience on the significance of International Coffee Day, first launched in 2014 by the International Coffee Organization.
“It’s an opportunity for all participants in the coffee sector to celebrate quality of coffee and the passion and persistence of our farmers. This year we dedicate the occasion to women in coffee,” Joaquim said. “It’s important to remember the significant role women play in producing counties like Brazil.”
He also touched on the importance of producing a product that embraces the three pillars of sustainability – environmentally, socially and economically.
“Given the current low price situation, we need to give farmers better economic conditions in order to be sustainable,” he said.
Marcelo Brussi of Minas Hill Coffee and BSCA representative spoke about the need to increase awareness on Brazil’s specialty coffee production.
“The image of Brazilian coffee is something we really need to work on. Brazil may be one of the world’s largest exporters of coffee, but Australian consumers continue to have a mindset that it produces quantity over quality, and that’s something I’m working hard to overcome at Minas Hill and with the BSCA,” Marcelo said.
Pedro Gabarra, a Brazilian coffee farmer from Santo Antonio Farm and fifth-generation coffee farmer spoke about continuing his family tradition.
“I’m part of the new generation of farmers that is blessed with the opportunity to observe the end of the supply chain here in Australia and watch how people enjoy the product my grandfather, father, and now I, work so hard to produce,” Pedro said. “I’m very proud of the work Brazil is doing to produce specialty coffee. We have a long way to go but we are in a good position for more success in the future.
“Coffee is not a business but a passion for us. It was my grandfather’s passion, my father’s, mine, and hopefully it will be my children’s one day.”
Tina Wendel from 23 Degrees coffee roasters also addressed the audience on her experience in Brazil and the establishment of the Flowers in Action, a Minas Hill Coffee and Alto da Serra Producers’ Association (APAS) initiative supporting female farmers; Melanie Mokken, Market Development Manager Australia/New Zealand of Utz and Rainforest Alliance spoke about its support of Brazilian farmers; and the Consulate-General of Brazil in Sydney, Carlos de Abreu, concluded the morning’s formalities.
“I’m a sixth-generation coffee drinker and I’m proud of it,” he said. “Thank you for making this dream a reality to host such an important event, and I hope we can celebrate again every October. For us, today is celebrating the fact that Brazilian coffee is not about supply in quantity but quality.”
For more information on Minas Hill Coffee, visit http://minashill.com.au/