João Hamilton is a farmer turned community leader. He has been working with the neighbouring Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (“Environmental Fortress Farm”) farm for over eight years and has been fundamental in pushing the boundaries and setting new standards of quality and sustainable practices. FAF is a leader in sustainable and organic farming practices in Brasil.
Today João works with twenty-five neighbour farmers to assist them also working towards these goals, follow his footsteps in producing fine specialty coffees and becoming more aware about sustainability.
Some words from João:
Our production was traditionally commodity and our goal was always to produce as much quantity as possible while using various agro-toxic chemicals. We did not respect Mother Nature or the quality of the coffee.
In recent years this system of commodity coffee had ceased to be sustainable for us.
In 2006 Marcos from Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza invited our family (Joao Hamilton and Ivan) to take part in a new sustainable method of producing coffee.
The objective became to achieve the highest quality while simultaneously respecting nature, reforesting the area around our springs, recycling our trash, refraining from utilizing toxic fertilizers and herbicides giving the practice of cultivating coffee a new inspiration and hope.
Our family adopted new processes in order to improve the quality of our coffee.
We began to harvest selectively for the ripest cherries, to do semi-washed pulped cherries, and worked with more care on the drying patio.
We exported for the first time our coffees in 2008 and in 2010 we invested in building raised beds for the further development of higher quality coffees.
We’re excited to share this micro lot 786 from Sitio Canaã with you this week.
Wait, what’s a micro lot?
When coffee is harvested by hand at farms, all the picked cherries from that farm are usually combined. With a micro lot, farmers separate out the very best of their crop and process that separately.
If there’s one hillside on the farm that has outstanding flavour, rather than being mixed in with the rest of the crop, it can be processed and sold separately.
We think micro lots are interesting because they’re capturing a moment in time on the farm and showcasing the flavours of such a specific set of conditions, this coffee will never be repeated.