Coffee production in Brazil is responsible for about a third of all coffee, making Brazil by far the world's largest producer, a position the country has held for the last 150 years. Coffee plantations, covering some 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi), are mainly located in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná where the environment and climate provide ideal growing conditions.
The crop first arrived in Brazil in the 18th Century and the country had become the dominant producer by the 1840s. Brazilian coffee prospered since the early 19th century, when the Italian immigrants came to work in the coffee plantations. Production as a share of world coffee output peaked in the 1920s but has declined since the 1950s due to increased global production.
Coffee was not native to the Americas and had to be planted in the country. The first coffee was grown by the Native Americans. The first coffee bush in Brazil was planted by Francisco de Melo Palheta in the state of Pará in 1727. According to the legend, the Portuguese were looking for a cut of the coffee market, but could not obtain seeds from bordering French Guiana due to the governor's unwillingness to export the seeds. Palheta was sent to French Guiana on a diplomatic mission to resolve a border dispute. On his way back home, he managed to smuggle the seeds into Brazil by seducing the governor's wife who secretly gave him a bouquet spiked with seeds.
|Source: Bethell 1985, p. 86|
Coffee spread from Pará and reached Rio de Janeiro in 1770, but was only produced for domestic consumption until the early 19th century when American and European demand increased, creating the first of two coffee booms. The cycle ran from the 1830s to 1850s, contributing to the decline of slavery and increased industrialization. Coffee plantations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Gerais quickly grew in size in the 1820s, accounting for 20% of worlds production. By the 1830s, coffee had become Brazil's largest export and accounted for 30% of the world's production. In the 1840s, both the share of total exports and of world production reached 40%, making Brazil the largest coffee producer. The early coffee industry was dependent on slaves; in the first half of the 19th century 1.5 million slaves were imported to work on the plantations. When the foreign slave trade was outlawed in 1850, plantation owners began turning more and more to European immigrants to meet the demand of labor. However, internal slave trade with the north continued until slavery was finally abolished in Brazil in 1888.
The second boom ran from the 1880s to the 1930s, corresponding to a period in Brazilian politics called café com leite ("coffee with milk"). The name refers to the largest states' dominating industries: coffee in São Paulo and dairy in Minas Gerais.
The Zona da Mata Mineira district grew 90% of the coffee in Minas Gerais region during the 1880s and 70% during the 1920s. Most of the workers were black men, including both slaves and free. Increasingly Italian, Spanish and Japanese immigrants provided the expanded labor force. The railway system was built to haul the coffee beans to market, but it also provided essential internal transportation for both freight and passengers, as well as develop a large skilled labor force. The growing coffee industry attracted millions of immigrants and transformed São Paulo from a small town to the largest industrial center in the developing world. The city's population of 30,000 in the 1850s grew to 70,000 in 1890 and 240,000 in 1900. With one million inhabitants in the 1930s São Paulo surpassed Rio de Janeiro as the country's largest city and most important industrial center.
By the early 20th century, coffee accounted for 16% of Brazil's gross national product, and three fourths of its export earnings. The growers and exporters played major roles in politics; however historians are debating whether or not they were the most powerful actors in the political system. The February 1906 "valorization" is a clear example of the high influence on federal politics São Paulo gained from the coffee production. Overproduction had decreased the price of coffee, and to protect the coffee industry – and the interests of the local coffee elite – the government was to control the price by buying abundant harvests and sell it at the international market at a better opportunity. The scheme sparked a temporary rise in the price and promoted the continued expansion of the coffee production. The valorization scheme was successful from the perspective of the planters and the Brazilian state, but led to a global oversupply and increased the damages from the crash during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
In the 1920s, Brazil was a nearly monopolist of the international coffee market and supplied 80% of the world's coffee. Since the 1950s, the country's market share steadily declined due to increased global production. Despite a falling share and attempts by the government to decrease the export sector's dependency on a single crop, coffee still accounted for 60% of Brazil's total exports as late as 1960.
Before the 1960s, historians generally ignored the coffee industry because it seemed too embarrassing. Coffee was not a major industry in the colonial period. In any one particular locality, the coffee industry flourished for a few decades and then moved on as the soil lost its fertility. This movement was called the Coffee Front and pushed deforestation westward. Due to this transience coffee production was not deeply embedded in the history of any single locality. After independence coffee plantations were associated with slavery, underdevelopment, and a political oligarchy, and not the modern development of state and society. Historians now recognize the importance of the industry, and there is a flourishing scholarly literature.
Consumers' change in taste towards milder and higher quality coffee triggered a disagreement over export quotas of the International Coffee Agreement in the end of the 1980s. With the retained quotas from the 1983 agreement, the change increased the value of milder coffee at the expense of more traditional varieties. Brazil in particular refused to reduce its quotas believing it would lower their market share. The consumers, led by the United States, demanded higher coffee quality and the end of selling coffee to non-members at reduced rates. US officials criticized Brazil for not being willing to accept a reduction of the country's quotas despite falling share of the world market since 1980. Jorio Dauster, head of the state-controlled Brazilian Coffee Institute, believed Brazil could survive without help from the agreement. Not being able to reach an agreement in a timely manner, the agreement broke down in 1989. As a result, the Brazilian Coffee Institute, previously controlling the price of coffee by regulating the amount grown and sold, was abolished to limit government interference in favor of free markets. Up to this point the industry had simply neglected quality control management because government regulations favored scale economies, but now coffee processors begun exploring higher quality segments in contrast to the traditionally lower quality.
Biggest coffee producers
The six Brazilian states with the largest acreage for coffee are Minas Gerais (1.22 million hectares); Espírito Santo (433,000 hectares); São Paulo (216,000 hectares); Bahia (171,000 hectares); Rondônia (95,000 hectares); and Paraná (49,000 hectares).
Brazil has been the world's largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years, currently producing about a third of all coffee. In 2011 Brazil was the world leader in production of green coffee, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia. The country is unrivaled in total production of green coffee, arabica coffee and instant coffee. In 2011, total production was 2.7 million tonnes, more than twice the amount of Vietnam, the second largest producer. Some 3.5 million people are involved in the industry, mostly in rural areas.
Plantations are mainly located in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná where the environment and climate provide ideal growing conditions. Minas Gerais alone accounts for about half of the country's production. Most plantations are harvested in the dry seasons of June through September, usually in one huge annual crop when most berries are ripe. In most countries, arabica beans are processed using the wet process (also called washed coffee), but virtually all coffee in Brazil is processed using the dry process (also called unwashed or natural coffee). The entire berries are cleaned and placed in the sun to dry for 8–10 days (or up to four weeks during unfavorable conditions). The outer layer of the dried berry is then removed in a hulling process before the beans are sorted, graded and packed in 60 kg bags.
Several species in the coffee genus, Coffea, can be grown for their beans, but two species, arabica and robusta, account for virtually all production. Arabica dominates both Brazil and the world as a whole with about 85% of the production; robusta accounts for the remaining 30%. In Brazil, arabica production is located in the main coffee-growing cluster of states led by Minas Gerais where arabica is produced almost exclusively. Robusta is primarily grown in the southeastern much smaller state of Espírito Santo where about 80% of the coffee is robusta. More recently, the northwestern state of Rondônia entered the market and produces large shares of robusta.
The coffee plant can tolerate low temperatures, but not frost. Milder frosts, called "white frosts", kill the flowers that grow into the harvested cherries, but new flowers are regrown by the tree the next season. White frosts only affect the following year's harvest, but more severe frosts, "black frosts", kill the entire tree and have more long-term consequences. New plants have to be planted after a black frost, and it takes years before the tree begins to bear fruit, typically 3–4 years. Brazil is the only major producer vulnerable to frost, and harsh frosts may drive up the world price of coffee due to Brazil's large share of the market. Frosts of this severity affect harvests every five or six years, causing volatility on the market.[note 1] The devastating black frost of 1975 struck on 18 July, hitting hardest in Paraná, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. The immediately following 1975/76 harvest was not severely affected as two-thirds of the harvest was already completed, but the 1976/77 harvest was hit harder with 73.5% of the crops affected. The price of coffee doubled in 1976–1977 and did not fall again until the successful harvest in August 1977. The last severe frost took place in 1994 when two particularly harsh frosts hit in June and July in the span of two weeks. While not as severe as in 1975, the frosts reduced the following year's harvest by 50–80% some states like São Paulo and Paraná and raised worldwide prices the following years.
The processing industry is divided in two distinct groups, ground/roasted coffee and instant coffee. The ground/roasted coffee market is highly competitive and had over 1000 companies in 2001. In contrast, the instant coffee market is highly concentrated with four major firms accounting for 75% of the market. Brazil is the world's largest exporter of instant coffee, with instant coffee constituting 10–20% of total coffee exports. Both types of coffee are mainly exported to the US, the world's largest coffee consumer.
Coffee remains an important export, but its importance has declined in the last 50 years. Coffee exports as a percentage of total exports was over 50% between the 1850s and 1960s, peaking in 1950 with 63.9%. The percentage began to decline in the 1960s when other export-heavy sectors expanded. In 1980, coffee export was down to 12.3% of the total, and by 2006 accounted for only to 2.5%. Brazil itself is the largest consumer of coffee by surpassing the United States in mid-2010's . Per capita, Brazil is the 14th largest consumer and is together with Ethiopia the only coffee producer with a large domestic consumption.
There are no taxes on coffee exports from Brazil, but importing green and roasted coffee into the country is taxed by 10% and soluble coffee by 16%. Unprocessed coffee can be exported duty-free into the three largest markets: the United States, the European Union and Japan, but processed coffee such as roasted beans, instant coffee and decaffeinated coffee is taxed 7.5% into the EU and 10% into Japan. Exports to the United States are tariff-free.
Barreiras is a city located in the west of the state of Bahia, Brazil. It is the most important urban, political, technological and economic center of the western region of the state. Its economy is based on livestock raising and agriculture. In recent years it has experienced an economic boom and is one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Bahia if not in Brazil.Coffee King
Coffee King (Portuguese: Rei do Café) is an informal title created in Brazil during the 19th century and used until the early 20th century. It was usually applied to the biggest coffee producer of a given period.In spite of the lack of consensus around the exact number of Coffee Kings, the majority of scholars admit the existence of at least five of them:
Joaquim José de Sousa Breves
Carlos Leôncio de Magalhães
Geremia LunardelliDeforestation in Brazil
Brazil once had the highest deforestation rate in the world and in 2005 still had the largest area of forest removed annually. Since 1970, over 700,000 square kilometers (270,000 sq mi) of the Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. In 2012, the Amazon was approximately 5.4 million square kilometres, which is only 87% of the Amazon's original state.Rainforests have decreased in size primarily due to deforestation. Despite reductions in the deforestation rate over the last ten years, the Amazon rainforest will be reduced by 40% by 2030 at the current rate. Between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 150,000 km2 of forest, an area larger than Greece. According to the Living Planet Report 2010, deforestation continues at an alarming rate. But at the CBD 9th Conference, 67 ministers signed up to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.Immigrant Inn
The Immigrant Inn (Brazilian Portuguese: Hospedaria dos Imigrantes) is a building in São Paulo. Construction started in 1886, and opened in 1887 (before completion), with the first group of immigrants arriving on 5 June 1887, before construction was completed in 1888. It was the main place for new immigrants to stay when arriving in the state of São Paulo at a time when coffee production in Brazil was being expanded and slavery in Brazil had been abolished. During the 19th and 20th century, people from over 70 nationalities arrived in Brazil, and over 2.5 million passed through the hostel.It replaced a former hostel in the Bom Retiro district that was in poor condition and lacked basic sanitation. The new hostel was designed by Mateus Haüssler, and was built with piped gas, zinc baths, and iron water storage containers. It was constructed next to a railway line by which immigrants arrived.It was managed by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Public Works from 1892 until 1905, the Department of Lands, Colonisation and Immigration (DTCI) from 1905 until 1939, the Immigration and Colonization Service (SIC) from 1939 until its closure.In 1924 it was used as a political prison during the Tenente revolts, and again in 1932 during the Constitutionalist Revolution. In the 1930s it started to host migrant workers from elsewhere in Brazil. It was renamed as the Department of Migrants in 1967/68. It received immigrants from Korea in 1978, shortly before closing that year after 91 years of operation.It was renovated in 1936 and expanded in 1952, with refurbishment also in 1958. It was listed by Condephaat in 1982.It now hosts the Immigration Museum of the State of São Paulo, and the part of the building that holds the museum was refurbished in 2010–2014.Jacob Engwall
Sven Jacob Victor Engwall (6 August 1922 – 7 November 1986) was a Swedish businessman.List of countries by coffee production
The following table lists the total coffee production of coffee exporting countries.Maragogipe Coffee
Scientific Name: Coffea arabica L var. maragogipe A. Fern. Ex A. FrohnerMaragogipe is a variety of Arabica Coffee, also known as Elephant Coffee Beans. It is believed that this coffee is a spontaneous mutation of Arabica coffee that happened in Maragogipe, Bahia in Brazil. This is a very large size coffee bean in comparison to other Arabica coffee beans. Its consistency is porous.
Maragogipe coffee’s flavor varies depending on the soil where it grows. Poor soils produce a coffee with diminished flavors. That is why very often it is referred as a coffee with “not much flavor”, however that can be enhanced by allowing these coffee beans to dry with its natural sugars.
Maragogipe is a rarity in the coffee world and it is appreciated by coffee aficionados.Minas cheese
Minas cheese (queijo minas or Portuguese: queijo-de-minas, pronounced [ˈkejʒu (dʒi) ˈmĩnɐs], literally "cheese from Minas") is a type of cheese that has been traditionally produced in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
It comes in three varieties, named queijos-de-minas frescal (fresh), meia-cura (half-matured) and curado (matured). A fourth variety, branded queijo padrão ("standard" cheese) has been developed more recently and can be found in nearly all supermarkets and grocery stores in Brazil. It is similar to frescal, but not as immensely juicy, soft and mild, and also generally less salty.
Minas cheese is made from cow's milk according to traditional recipes. It used to be matured naturally in open air or, much less often, over a cooker to dry with the heat.
Frescal cheese (as the name implies) is served quite fresh, about 4–10 days after preparation, still white and tender. Good frescal must be juicy, soft, and slightly granulated (instead of rubbery), with a mild taste. The saltiness of its taste might vary widely across producer.
It is not good for cooking, except with beef or pork (the juice helps change its taste), or, as an ingredient to a wider recipe, grilled with sauces such as soy sauce until rubbery. It can be used to make sandwiches, pastries, and crêpes, but it gets slightly rubbery instead of stringy with heat. It pairs well with turkey breast and other low fat cold cuts, cooked onions, tomato, as well as salad rockets, cooked spinach and other strong-tasting vegetables.
Curado cheese is ready for consumption when the juice has evaporated and the cheese has solidified and acquired a yellowish tint. Good curado cheese must have a white core, punctured with tiny bubbles of air, slightly more granulated than frescal and with a stronger taste, tending to bitter. It is excellent for cooking, being used for a huge variety of dishes of all types, including pastel de queijo and the famous pão de queijo (cheese bun).
Frescal cheese is often served with goiabada, a sweet product made out of guavas similar to quince cheese. When these two flavors are combined it is known as romeu-e-julieta, and this combination can be eaten as it is or used in a wide variety of dishes like cake, pie or ice cream. Frescal cheese also pairs well with other forms of fruit preserve or Dulce de leche.Mysore Doreswamy Madhusudan
Mysore Doreswamy Madhusudan (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ದೊರೆಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಮಧುಸೂದನ), Ph. D., is an Indian wildlife biologist and ecologist. He is the Co-founder and Director of Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. He has worked on understanding and mitigating the effects of human-wildlife conflict in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India. He has also worked in several other forests in the Himalayas and North-east India. In 2004, he was one among the team of wildlife biologists who described Arunachal macaque, a new species of macaque from Arunachal Pradesh, India.Ribeirão Preto
Ribeirão Preto (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁibejˈɾɐ̃w ˈpɾetu]) is a municipality and a metropolitan area located in the northeastern region of São Paulo state, Brazil.
Ribeirão Preto is the eighth largest municipality in the state at 650.9 km², with an estimated population of 694,534 in 2018 and a metropolitan area of 1,678,910. It is situated 313 km (194 mi) from the city of São Paulo and 706 km (439 mi) from Brasília, the federal capital. Its mean altitude is 546.8 meters (1,794 feet) high. The city's average temperature throughout the year is 23 °C (73F) and the predominant original vegetation is the Atlantic forest.
The city was originated around 1856 as an agricultural region. Coffee was a primary source of income until 1929, when it lost value compared with the industrial sector. In the second half of the 20th century, investment in areas such as health, biotechnology, bioenergy and information technology led to the city being declared a Technological Center in 2010. These activities have caused the city to have the 30th biggest gross national (GNP) in Brazil.
The city is also an important cultural center. The Prefeito Luiz Roberto Jábali Park, the Maurilio Biagi Park, Carlos Raya Park, Santa Tereza Reserve and the Zoo are important preservation areas. Pinguim Beer house, Dom Pedro Theatre and projects such as Ribeirão Preto's Cinema Center are relevant sightseeing points, along with events such as the Agrishow Agricultural Fair, Tanabata Festival, Joao Rock Music Festival and the National Outdoor Book Fair.Sugar plantations in the Caribbean
Sugar was the main crop produced on plantations throughout the Caribbean in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Most islands were covered with sugar cane fields, and mills for refining it. The main source of labor, until the abolition of chattel slavery, was enslaved Africans. After the abolition of slavery, indentured laborers from India, China, and Java migrated to the Caribbean to mostly work on the sugar plantations. These plantations produced 80 to 90 percent of the sugar consumed in Western Europe.The Coffee Song
"The Coffee Song" (occasionally subtitled "They've Got an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil") is a novelty song written by Bob Hilliard and Dick Miles, first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1946.
The song caricatures Brazil's coffee surplus, claiming (among other things) that no other beverages are available, and that the daughter of a politician was fined for drinking water. Snowclones on this phrase have been used in analyses of the coffee industry, and of the Brazilian economy and culture.Sinatra re-recorded the song in 1960 for his inaugural Reprise release, Ring-a-Ding-Ding!Varginha
Varginha is a municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Varginha stands out as one of the major centers of commerce and coffee production in Brazil and the world. The city is a center for export of coffee draining most of the production of the south of Minas Gerais, making the grain trade with several countries. The city is equidistant from the three largest metropolitan areas in Brazil (Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo). The city is close to Rodovia Fernão Dias. The city is served by Maj. Brig. Trompowsky Airport (IATA: VAG, ICAO: SBVG).
Varginha achieved moderate fame in UFO circles due to the so-called Varginha UFO incident in 1996, in which two extraterrestrial beings were allegedly spotted by locals and later captured by Brazilian Army, along with the local police and fire department. After this episode, the city began to invest in "UFO tourism". Today there are bus stops with the shape of spaceships and a water tower downtown also in the shape of a spaceship. In August 2004, UFO researchers from all over Brazil came together at the I UFO Congress of Varginha, organized with the support of the City Hall.