Minas Hill Foundation has created a donation page to support Brazil’s coffee farmers whose crops have been damaged by the cold weather and frost. For every $1 donated, Minas Hill will also donate $1 to the coffee farmers.
“Last week, parts of Brazil’s coffee growing regions experienced an unexpected cold snap causing frost damage to the trees, impairing the growth of healthy coffee cherries,” says Marcelo Brussi, Founder and CEO of Minas Hill.
This follows what has already been a difficult year for Brazil’s many coffee producers.
“COVID-19 has been challenging and devastating for us all. The long-term effects are also playing out in the global coffee trade,” Marcelo adds.
With farmers expecting to lose up to 20 per cent of their crops, coffee prices are expected to rise to a seven-year high.
One of the most affected areas is the Mantiqueira Region, where most farmers are small producers or family-run farms. This is also where some of Minas Hill’s initiatives such as APAS, which aims to improve the living conditions of farmers, and Flowers in Action, which aims to empower female coffee famers, are based.
“Most of the farmers have land no bigger than 10 hectares and some of them have lost everything,” says Marcelo.
“Last May, our beloved Nivaldo Arantes, from Nossa Senhora farm died due to COVID-19. His family, and now crops, are devasted, with the farm now looked after by his son, Willer Arantes.”
Marcelo says since Minas Hill Foundation has linked initiatives such as APAS and Flowers in Action with Australia roasters, he has seen a strong personal relationship develop between the roasters and coffee producers.
“We have brought coffee [from these regions] to Australia for more than 10 years and have seen that these Australian roasters are usually in contact with the [coffee] farmers, getting updates, asking about quality and checking on them. I have never seen such a strong relationship like we have with them – [these roasters] have become part of the family, day-by-day,” says Marcelo.
“[Donating] is a simple gesture of acknowledgement to small farmers’ families. Namely the family of Nivaldo Arantes, and many more from APAS and Flowers in Action coffee families who now face another challenge.”