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In-depth Insight into Frindly Trade: Visiting our Friends in Brazil & Interview with Rômulo Andrade

At the beginning of July, Bean United founder Thomas traveled to Brazil. He visited our friends at Capim Branco and São Silvestre, two coffee fincas in Cerrado Mineiro, a region in the east of Brazil.

Thomas met the coffee farmers, learned about the different kinds of coffee and participated in coffee cupping, the art of tasting coffee in order to maintain quality.

Three men are tasting coffee. Founder Thomas participating in cupping at Capim Branco.

Thomas about his visit

"When I visited our coffee friends in Brazil, I was impressed by their passion for coffee and the professionalism with which they work to constantly improve quality and sustainability on a daily basis. It was amazing and special to further cultivate this friendly relationship."

Two men stand in front of the coffee finca. Thomas is talking to an elderly man in a hat.

It is part of our mission to ensure not only coffee of the highest quality but also fair and worthwhile working conditions and progress with regard to sustainability. In order to do so, Bean United assesses the most important pillars of the relationship with coffee farmers on a regular basis. Today, we will share with you the following interview, to give you deeper insight into our relationships with our coffee farmers.

Interview with Rômulo Andrade, Chief Operating Officer at Capim Branco and São Silvestre

The following interview was carried out in order to further develop Bean United's relationship with our friends in Brazil. We are so proud and grateful to work with such amazing partners.

Please tell us more about your coffee business

"We are a family business, already in the fourth generation of coffee producers. We produce coffee in the region of Cerrado Mineiro in Brazil since 1901."

Which are your guiding values?

"The main pillars of our business are to produce specialty coffees in a responsible, social and sustainable way, using innovative methods and research so that, year after year, we can improve the quality of our lots."

How important is quality to you?

"Quality is one of the main factors in our business. Since 2016 we are among the winning lots of the main quality competition in the world, Cup of Excellence. We value delivering quality and are excited when we manage to exceed our partners' expectations."

Yellow coffee cherries are shown close up.

How many work steps do you put into each batch of coffee beans?

"At least 50 steps, from nursery until we put the coffee inside the container to ship abroad. We have steps on the production side, such as wet milling, dry milling, storage and quality control. Inside each of those groups, we have many steps to take care of to produce the best coffees for our partners in a sustainable way."

Why should one pay a fair price for coffee beans?

"Producing specialty coffees is not an easy job. There are many steps in production where quality can be lost. Also, there are environmental factors that do not depend on us, such as the weather, rain, frost and so on. All the risk of production lies with the coffee farmer, who then has to depend entirely on the climate to produce high-quality crops. Besides this, we do work with passion and excitement, and it is important for us that the customer understands that those beans of coffee have a long history."

An image from the coffee harvest. The sun is setting while a trailer is being loaded with fresh coffee cherries.

How do you make sure your employees are treated well?

"Our employees are trained to follow the best work practices in addition to having a social assistance plan and being provided with suitable tools to carry out their tasks within the work safety standards. Also, all our employees are paid above minimum wage."

Thomas is holding freshly harvested coffee cherries. He is talking to a woman who works on the coffee estate.

How do you like to shape your relationship with coffee buyers?

"We try to be as close as possible with our partners. We have a history not only of business but also of long-term friendships with most of our buyers and we value this a lot. Specialty coffee is not just a business, but a lifestyle with friendships that last a lifetime."

What is the difference between selling coffee to large exporters versus working directly with partners like Bean United?

"We like to work with partners like Bean United because they value our work, they know us personally and they understand our struggles. We have the ease of having more personal contact and less bureaucracy. With them, we are sure that out coffee is being valued and our story is being told."
Three men stand in front of bags of coffee. They are shaking hands in a friendly manner and smiling.

What is your wish for the future of your coffee business?

"We want to get closer and closer to our partners, like we are with Bean United, so we can show our production process, history and everything that involves the production of specialty coffee in an more and more clear way. We hope that consumers increasingly value the history of producers and that they understand that, far beyond the drink, coffee tells the story of several families who decided to dedicate themselves to deliver their best."

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