Farm: Campo Alegre
Varietal: 100% Catucai
Processing: Pulped natural
Altitude: 950 to 1,150 metres above sea level
Owner: Henrique Dias Cambraia
Town / City: Santo Antônio do Amparo
Region: Sul de Minas (Minas Gerais)
Fazenda Campo Alegre - Brazil
The cool, green hills of Sul de Minas provide ideal conditions for coffee growing and produce some of Brazil’s finest beans. The region is known locally as ‘Vertentes’, because it forms a border between two very important basins in Brazil: the Grande River Basin (which runs to the south) and the São Francisco River Basin (which runs to the northeast).
It is here that we find Campo Alegre (Happy Field), one of the three ‘production plots’ (or sub-farms) of Fazenda Samambaia. Currently, Samambaia is divided into 3 different production areas: Campo Alegre, Samambaia and Condomínio. All are situated in the same microregion and the distances between them are around 15 km each.
Campo Alegre occupies some of the higher points of Samambaia, lying between 950 and 1,150 metres above sea level. Coffee varieties planted on the plot include: Yellow Bourbon; Catiguá; Acaiá; Mundo Novo; Yellow Catucaí; Yellow and Red Catuaí; Topázio; Icatú; Rubi and Arara. This particular lot hailing from Campo Alegre is 100% Catucaí that has been processed using the Pulped natural method. There is also a sizeable varietal garden on Campo Alegre where the farm grows 19 different Bourbon varieties. This garden is a project that has been undertaken in partnership with a well-known agricultural research institute in Brazil (in the Samambaia plot, a parallel project has established an additional 54 varieties coming from all parts of the world).
Henrique Dias Cambraia, owner of Fazenda Samambaia, attributes the success of his farm and of Campo Alegre in particular to a combination of various factors, not least: the farm’s geographic location; competent technical management of the plantations, with individualized phytosanitary controls of the planting fields; constant training based on total quality control programs; and, most importantly, the involvement of the whole team that works on the farm.
Henrique is committed not only to producing high quality coffee, but to farming in a way that is socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. He is happy to say that, during his absence from the farm between March 2000 and July 2001 – when he was studying towards a Master's degree in International Business in Phoenix, Arizona – his employees demonstrated that they fully understood and were capable of upholding the Samambaia concept of sustainability.
The farms of the Dias Cambraia family have been receiving technical assistance from Agronomist Josué Pereira de Figueiredo, Ph.D. for over ten years. Dr. Figueiredo was the technical coordinator of Brazilian Coffee Institute (IBC) and was also a Cup of Excellence finalist in 2001 and 2015. Henrique also regularly attends events organised by the Association of the Coffee Producers of Southern Minas Gerais (Sulminas-Café) and other similar bodies, to ensure that the Dias Cambraia farms remain at the forefront of new technologies and techniques.
Recently, Henrique Dias Cambraia was elected President of Sulminas-Café. Together with other 20 coffee producers of the Santo Antônio do Amparo region, he founded the Santo Antônio Estate Coffee, to build relationships with the specialty coffee market.
Fazenda Samambaia has won many awards for its high quality coffee, including Cup of Excellence.