Farm: Fazenda Piedade
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Altitude: 1,200 metres above sea level
Owner: Olga Maria Ferreira Tavares and sons
Town / City: Rio Paranaíba
Region: Sul de Minas, Cerrado Mineiro
Overall: Creamy, fudge, pecan, orange, tropical
Fazenda Piedade Bourbon Nat - Brazil
Hélio Godoy Tavares, a civil engineer born in Rio de Janeiro, experienced a turning point in his life when, in 1968, he inherited part of his grandfather’s farm, Fazenda Piedade, in the Mountains of South Minas Gerais.
Upon inheriting the farm, his path was turned from the hustle and bustle of the big city towards a more pastoral existence. He fell in love with the green hills of Southern Minas Gerais, left behind his old life, and decided to dedicate himself exclusively to coffee production. After some years working the farm, Hélio was so impassioned by the farming culture that he decided to expand his farm to extend even further into the relatively level though high terrain composing the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais. In 1986, Hélio purchased the farm Três Rios and in 1994 the farm Rubi was bought. Using his experience, strategic planning and good humor he transformed his farms into the definition of ‘modernity’ in the region, characterized by the use of selective mechanical harvesters and manual picking to ensure only the best and ripest beans are picked.
From the beginning, Hélio encouraged his children to get involved in the business and, even, to improve it. Inspired by their father’s passion, all three of Hélio’s children (one son and two daughters) decided to study agronomy. When Hélio sadly passed away, in 1999, his farms passed to his widow, and today his son and daughters devotedly help her with the management of the properties.
The farms make use of environmentally-sound processing technology to optimize the high quality of the coffee and preserve the environment. The family places emphasis on preserving water sources and native forest and has demarcated a section of the farms as legal conservation area in order to protect native flora and fauna habitats and increase biodiversity on the farms.
Lots are harvested and processed separately so as to preserve single varietal lot. This particular lot of Yellow Bourbon was processed using the natural method so as to emphasise the fruity sweetness of the cherries.
The farms employ a total of 235 people, with six families (30 people) living on the farms permanently and an additional 50 people brought to work and stay on the farms during the harvest. An additional 150 seasonal workers are employed for various tasks throughout the year. All employees receive training for safety and professional development.
Employee housing and meals are provided for those who stay or work on the farm. Medical care is also provided and children have access to a nearby public school.