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Brazilian association formed for the Cerrado region.

With the reality of a free green coffee market, origins,, and regions within origins, have differentiated themselves and thereby created a market for their particular style of coffee. The Cerrado region (a plateau ranging in height from 850 to 1250 meters with clearly defined wet and dry seasons) of the State of Minas Gerais, in Brazil is starting an awareness campaign to differentiate itself from other Brazilian coffees. Until recently, high quality coffee from Brazil was often blended with lower grades to various mediocre standards. One area, but by no means the only area, of Brazil where high quality coffee has consistently been produced is in the Cerrado region.

In order to ensure that Cerrado coffee is recognized as something special, and that only coffee from the Cerrado is sold as such, the producers from the region have banded together in an organization called CACCER. It is not a co-op, but similar to one. CACCER is an association of coffee grower associations that represents 3,500 growers from the Cerrado region. It has defined nine different grades and will ensure that shipments will match samples of those grades.

A certificate of origin will be issued, a distinctive design stamped on the bag, and a seal affixed to the bag, all of these measures designed to ensure that there will be no tampering with the bags en route to the port, and that no other coffee will be sold as Cerrado coffee. To further maintain control, CACCER will process the coffee itself, matching the nine grades they have established by drawing from individual growers' pre-graded stocks. CACCER is targeting medium to large roasters who are interested in getting what they paid for and in maintaining or upgrading the quality of their blend.

The coffee produced in the Cerrado region is Arabica and is strictly soft with excellent body, which when used as espresso, produces a high volume of crema. In fact 9 of the 10 winners of Illycafe's quality contest were from the Cerrado region, including number one.

Processing is 99% natural, which accounts for some of the strong body of Cerrado coffee. A common problem with natural coffee, non-uniformity, is avoided because of the weather. The winter is very dry, which allows for a uniform ripening and for excellent drying conditions. Given the Brazilian system of harvesting, milking, and that natural coffee is not pulped, a uniform ripening is critical.

The 92/93 crop from Cerrado will be somewhere around 2.4 million (60 kilo) bags. The previous two years production were 2.1 and 3.05 respectively. The plantation is 440 million trees on 159,000 hectares and can easily be expanded since the surrounding land is in row crops or ranching. The Cerrado accounts for between 10 and 12% of total Brazilian production. Roughly 80% of the Cerrado production is exportable, although not all of it is because of increasing domestic demand and upgrading of local blends.

Because Cerrado coffee is grown on flat areas, mechanical harvesting is possible. The ensuing reduced labor cost allows the producers, many of whom are large, to invest more in fertilizer, care of the trees, and curing the crop. The result is a uniform and high quality production. With the inception of CACCER, roasters can now be assured that they will get this interesting coffee, in the grade that they specify, when they pay for it, and not a blend of Cerrado coffee and lower grades or something altogether different.

CACCER is located at: Rua Marechal Floriano 72, CEP 38740000, Patrocinio - MG, Brazil. Fax: (55)(34)661-5132. Aguinaldo Jose De Lima is the president.
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Title Annotation:International Report; CACCER
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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