Coocafé is located between the regions of the forest area – Forest Zone (Zona da Mata) – Minas Gerais State and the mountains of Espírito Santo State, characterized by high mountains between 1350 and 3300 feet, with predominantly humid climate and well distributed rainfall during the year, accumulating 1,150 mm. The average annual temperature varies between 39 and 55F which provides favorable conditions for production and quality arabic and Robust coffee.
The properties of the region are predominantly of family farming, with small areas and has 5 to 10 ha of cultivated coffee. In most cases, the properties of structures still needs to dry, because they are quite rustic, but adequate and efficient for the production of quality coffee, both in the natural and peeled cherry.
The harvest is carried out from April. In higher regions, it extends to the end of August and September. The coffee is harvested on special cloths, wrapped in bags of raffia and transported to specific places to dry, where processing for the cherry peeled or natural coffee occurs. The structures mounted for the natural processing coffee are settled with washers, dryers and terraces, dimensioned according to the size of production and properties. On processing of cherry coffee are used mechanic separated-washers, mechanical peelers, terraces and dryers, also dimensioned to meet demands of production and properties size. The storage area is held in the warehouses of Coocafé.
The park consist of coffee crops of low size, mainly the cultivation “Catuai” and “Catucaí” in different strains of red and yellow fruits and also, highlight to the “Acauã”, “Katipó” and lower regions, the robust coffee (conilon). The stands are being formed with a density varying between 4000 and 6000 plants per hectare, providing productivity average over 45 bags of coffee per hectare.
The cultural treatments are improving considerably through technical assistance and Coocafé field days, providing a sustainable coffee using skim, soil conservation, pruning, fertilizations based on technical analysis of soil and leaf production. Thus, it has encouraged annual planing creation and closure of the crops.
The region has coffee with quality for export, given the increasing demands for higher quality with the production of hard coffee drinking, free of river, minas river and robust (conilon). The heights of the mountains allows the production of coffee and the high regions – such as medium and low – positively affect the performance of mixed quality, both in the production of natural coffee and peeled cherry coffee.
It is important to note that Coocafé had decisive role in the production of quality coffee in region. Since thirty years ago, when the cooperative was being founded, coffee produced by farmers hadn’t had the profile of quality, a fact that has been evidenced by the improved percentage of coffee drinking produced, which was nearly irrelevant.
We can see a constant evolution in this context so that ten years ago, coffee in this region was not accepted as in quality, despite the production of coffee drinking was already around 40%.
Today, coffee produced in the Forest Zone (Zona da Mata – Minas Gerais), has already won national competitions for quality and is recognized as one of the best coffee of Brazil. And somehow, Coocafé had great influence in it. In the year of 2008, the profile quality was evidenced in the warehouses of the cooperative, which received 75% of coffee with best drinking.
As a further encourage production of quality, Coocafé created the Regional Competition quality Coocafé, which had its second edition in 2008, where the number of participants nearly doubled related to the first edition.
But we must register that the primary responsibility for the quality is the farmer who, knowing the needs of the market, is increasingly interested in participating in the training offered by the cooperative and following the instructions given by technical consultants.