Farm: Fazenda Novo Riacho
Altitude: 1020 meters above sea level
Owner: Shigueo Hayata
Town / City: Patrocinio
Region: Cerrado Mineiro
Overall: Red plum, chocolate, pecan, medium body
Fazenda Novo Riacho - Brazil
Before becoming a coffee producer, Shigueo Hayata, owner of Fazenda Novo Riacho, was a vegetable farmer based in the state of São Paulo. Here, Shigueo grows a range of produce, including; tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, aubergine and other vegetables. This was Shigueo only farm until, in 2001, Shigueo and his brother purchased Fazenda Novo Riacho; a farm in the city of Patrocinio, Cerrado Mineiro. After expanding their output into producing other produce such as soybean and corn, the brothers spent some time learning about coffee production and in 2006, the Hayata brothers started to plant their first coffee trees. Over a decade spent honing his craft, today, Shigueo Hayata is preparing his sons to take on the family business. Both sons have previously spent time studying for degrees in agronomy as well as working in agriculture: we hope this is a sign of great things to come from Fazenda Novo Riacho.
Made up of 55 separate counties, the region of Cerrado Mineiro can be found to the east of Minas Gerais; one of the primary coffee-growing regions of Brazil. Famed for its quality coffee production, the region ranges from 1,000 to 1,250 metres above sea level, providing ideal conditions for coffee production due to the perfect balance of wet and dry seasons. Cerrado alone is estimated to produce as much as 12.5% of Brazil’s total coffee output and has now received ‘Origin status’, meaning only coffee from ‘Cerrado’ can be called ‘Cerrado’; similar to Champagne in France.
Using their education, Shigueo’s sons have implemented strict measures at Fazenda Novo Riacho. Soil analysis is conducted using precision techniques to analyse the different plots. Next, fertilisers are applied according to the results presented in the report. The integration of chemical and organic inputs is used not only for fertiliser but also for pests and disease management too. This is well-timed, as changes in climate and behaviours of pests and diseases have meant that crop management is becoming more expensive every year; directly impacting the cost of production.
Today, Fazenda Novo Riacho offers a wide range of different Arabica coffee varieties, selected on the merit of productivity, adaptively to their farm management systems, the period of maturation and cup quality.
For processing, once the coffee has been picked using a mechanical harvester, the cherry is first sorted by variety and then quality. Every harvested lot is taken to the washing station and divided into four spate lots, being; ‘coffee cherries with skin, de-pulped coffee, under-ripe coffee and overripe coffee’. For this natural method coffee, the ‘coffee cherry with skin’ is first passed through a density separator, before being taken to the patios to be dried. Next, the coffee is moved to the drum dryers where it remains until it reaches a moisture content of 11%. Once dried, the coffee is placed into silos for 30 days to stabilise and homogenise the moisture; before being dry milled ready for export. Nearly all coffees at Fazenda Novo Riacho are processed this way, except for their organic lot which receives separate treatment.