Ipanema Coffees Exports Record 2M Bags of Specialty Coffees

Ipanema Coffees announced it has exported a record 2 million bags—in 26 years—directly from the farm to clients worldwide. This achievement, after shipment of 2.160 bags (each bag weighs 132 pounds) to Germany-based roaster, Tchibo, has special significance, since September 1991 marks a milestone in the history of Ipanema Coffees. It was the day Ipanema, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, debuted in the international market, exporting the first 3,000 bags, coincidently, to Tchibo.

This is the first time in Brazil that such a volume has been reached, and is especially noteworthy as these are exports with origin, direct from the farm. Ipanema´s international clients can trace exactly where the coffee comes from as it is labelled according to its origin.

Ipanema became an exporter of specialty coffees in 1991, after a change in domestic regulation of coffee trading that opened the international markets to Brazilian producers. Before that the governmental control granted limited export licenses to a small number of exporters. This policy lasted for 30 years and led coffee producers to focus just on quantity, since all coffee qualities were paid by the same price and sold under labels as “Santos 4.” Farmers and producers had no incentives to improve quality. After 1990, when more liberal governmental policies were adopted and coffee producers allowed to export directly, Ipanema Coffees expanded its activities beyond the country borders and pioneered direct exporting.

“This achievement was made possible by the strong relationship with clients, the daily efforts of our employees in the fields, milling and offices, and continuous investment in innovation, research and sustainability,” says Washington Rodrigues, CEO, Ipanema Coffees. Ipanema specialists evaluate plant architectures, vegetative vigor, longevity, maturation characteristics, fruit size and especially productive potential and cup quality.

“We adopt countless test matrices which starts with the selection of glebes, chosen among other factors for their altitude, since the highest, the best. Variety is also important. The notes background of each glebe is taken into consideration,” he says, adding that different combinations of harvest type, coffee preparation, patios and dryers used in each test are pre-defined and tested more than once.

In practice, the goal, says Rodrigues, is to increasingly approximate farming to a scientific process, since a test methodology has never been implemented in Brazil, such as the one adopted by Ipanema. This effort is not limited to Ipanema’s development in the market. “The goal is to be able to help producers in general achieve another level. This means that when we outline a quality matrix, Ipanema defines a new production concept and is capable of offering consulting services to other producers, increasing learning and sales opportunities in a global market that appreciates specialty coffees more and more,” he explains. “This new model, based on high technology can be transmitted to other producers who wish to achieve this efficiency and quality level of management in their farms.”

With 14 million trees planted on three farms in the south of the state of Minas Gerais (Rio Verde, Conquista and Capoeirinha), Ipanema Coffees offers seven labels – Reserve, Bourbon, Ouro Preto, Gourmet, Espresso, Conquista and Dulce – and the ability to provide traceability and unique solutions for each customer such as tailoring products and packaging. Since 1991, the company has built strong relationships with clients in 28 countries, a list that keeps expanding. For more information, visit: http://www.ipanemacoffees.com.br/.

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