Expocacer works to continue succession in coffee farming

In an era where young people are leaving small cities to go live in big urban centers, how can we guarantee the continuity of family farming businesses over generations? Succession has become an increasingly complex topic and activity, with only 30% of this type of business reaching the third generation, according to World Bank. Keeping in mind the importance of these individuals staying in the countryside, the Cerrado Coffee Growers’ Cooperative (Expocacer) created a project called Teens, which aims to educate and encourage people between the ages of 14 to 20 about all the processes involved in coffee growing.

“Those who are born on a farm are many times discouraged from continuing their parents’ activities, which is why it is very important to introduce new perspectives, technologies and experiences through dynamic projects such as Teens. Passing on this knowledge and the feeling of love for the countryside makes all the difference, because making a successor is different from having an heir. We need future generations to continue to produce great Brazilian coffee,” said Raquel Paza Lazzarin, Expocacer’s director of organizational development.

Through directed courses and activities, the project’s participants will learn about all the processes involved in coffee growing, from production, management, and exports to final consumption. The classes are distributed in stages, combining theory with coffee-growing practices, including: cooperative principles; the history of coffee in Brazil; production of specialty grains; classification; cupping and roasting; a visit to the Expocacer warehouses; notions of management, leadership and marketing; as well as visits to the farms of cooperative members.

“I already had a basic knowledge, but taking part in this project was essential in broadening my experience in coffee growing and made a difference on my decision to continue in my family’s business. I was able to learn about the theory and practice of the techniques and thus to identify and specialise in areas that I hadn’t tried before, such as quality production. I take with me what is new, and my father comes in with all his years of knowledge, one complements the other,” says Eduardo Fardin, son of the producer Carlos Fardin.

The project, now in its third edition, also aims to encourage more sustainable and quality cultivation, also to help young people and their families providing new professional prospects and at the same time training them with general notions and practices about their family’s business, therefore improving the family succession scenario.

“It is important to show our children and grandchildren the greatness and importance of coffee growing. Coffee is something that is in the daily lives of thousands of people, and it is one of the fastest growing sectors in Brazil, also an extremely important sector for our economy. We are the largest producers and exporters of this bean in the world, we have something great here that opens countless opportunities,” Raquel concluded.

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