PATROCÍNIO, Brazil – With 5,500 hectares of regenerative coffee, the Cerrado Coffee Growers Cooperative (Expocacer) has become the first in the world to receive the regenerative certification label. The audit was conducted by Regenagri, a global entity dedicated to ensuring soil health and preservation, with certification from the British organization Control Union.
This label verifies the origin and quality of coffee produced using regenerative practices that are received in the warehouses. To acquire the certification, Expocacer’s environmental, social, and governance responsibility was evaluated, and it received 100% approval in these criteria.
“Projects and initiatives such as ‘Elas no Café,’ ‘Jornada da Qualidade,’ ‘Expocacer Teens,’ and others that work to promote sustainable actions within the coffee community were essential for this achievement, along with our exclusive department dedicated to sustainability-related matters, where we provide guidance to our members,” says Simão Pedro de Lima, Executive Director of Expocacer.
Regenerative coffee farming adopts practices aimed at preserving soil health, increasing biodiversity, protecting water resources, and enhancing the resilience of agricultural systems.
Among the advantages of regenerative practices are the preservation of flora and fauna, cost reduction, decreased pollution, improved coffee quality, increased resilience to climate change, and reduced deforestation.
This year, with support from Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Businesses (Sebrae), Expocacer has already managed to certify 14 cooperative members, a number that is expected to grow to 24 by the end of 2023.
“We are very proud because this achievement confirms the work that has been carried out for years by Expocacer. This certification strengthens our commitment to ensuring sustainable and high-quality coffee production for our cooperative members, customers, employees, and commercial and institutional partners,” says Farlla Gomes, Sustainability Manager of Expocacer.
For the cooperative, the automated traceability that utilizes RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) and allows producers to know the exact location of their coffee in the cooperative’s warehouses was also a differentiating factor in obtaining the certification, recognizing the care that Expocacer takes with the coffee from its members.
Recently, the world’s first regenerative agriculture-certified coffee has also begun to be distributed globally in retail by the Italian brand Illy Caffè, in partnership with the Cerrado Coffee Growers Federation and Expocacer. With notes of intense caramel, the product is already available in 50 countries, with plans to expand to 140 by 2024.
“Obtaining the regenerative certification for Expocacer represents reaching a higher level of value expansion because this achievement directly influences the core of our business. It’s the conjunction of a set of ideas, strategies, and attitudes that are ecologically correct, economically viable and socially fair, ensuring a supply without compromising the one future generations,” concludes Flávia Nunes, Director of Operations and Logistics at Expocacer.
Established in 1993 and located in Patrocínio/MG, the Cooperativa dos Cafeicultores do Cerrado (Expocacer) promotes coffee quality and the work of its members in Brazil and around the world through significant socio-environmental initiatives and contributions to the regional economy.
The cooperative‘s infrastructure includes two warehouses with a capacity for over 1 million bags. Currently, they serve 680 producers, exporting to more than 30 countries across 5 continents.