Region/Town: Mantiqueira, Minas Gerais
Altitude: 1100 meters above sea level
Arabica Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Processing: Anaerobic Fermentation
Processor: Flowers in Action
In the cup: Dark chocolate and caramel sweetness with blackberry acidity.
Flowers in Action (Flores em Ação) is a project empowering female farmers which recognises their work and commitment in producing specialty coffee. Together with APAS (Alto da Serra Producers’ Association), Minas Hill works on creating better opportunities to their female members, valuing their activities and encouraging them to produce and brand their own coffee.
Why is this initiative so important? The number of women participating in seminars and conferences on coffee is still very low, and the lack of them in coffee cooperative boards displays a precipitated and mistaken impression that women do not play such an important role in the coffee industry. According to Cristina Arzabe in her book Mulheres do Café no Brasil (Women in Coffee in Brazil), women are present in all fields in the coffee industry, but still occupy few leadership and decision-making roles.
Through extensive surveys in Brazil, Mrs. Arzabe was able to identify the profile of female producers in Brazil: most are between 26 and 35 years old, 55% have a monthly income of up to 5 minimum wages (AU $ 1,700) and only 10% have an income above AU $ 3,000 per month. 60% dedicate themselves, besides domestic chores, to the care of crops. 20% have a second job to supplement household income. Finally, the data indicates that 80% of coffee rural properties in Brazil are characterized as family farming but access to credit through public resources benefits 90% of men – this shows that women have limited economic autonomy and restricted possibilities to resource management.
Minas Hill has started working with the Flowers in Action project in 2019 and we’ve had many achievements since then. We managed to double the amount of coffee purchased and distributed to the Australian market, bringing a better income for female members of APAS (Alto da Serra Producers’ Association).
(Info courtesy of Minas Hill)