Samuel Simões Neto
Translated by Felipe Sá
Apuí Agroforestry Coffee – produced in the municipality of Apuí by small coffee growers that are adopting organic production practices – signed an important partnership in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Starting this January, the product became part of the food baskets distributed and commercialized by COOMARU (Mixed Agroextractivist Cooperative of Unini River) to its members in the RESEX (Extractivist Reserve) of Unini.
According to Marcelo Amaral, forestry engineer and coordinator of FVA’s “Conservation for the People” program (‘Conservação Para Gente’), the proposal to include the coffee in the basket arose to enhance the organic and small-scale production in Amazonas.
“COOMARU was already encouraging, among its members, the consumption of organic products grown in the fields of the Unini River. With the acquisition of Apuí Coffee, the cooperative takes a step forward”, Amaral explains.
However, the engineer highlights that this is still an exception. He argues that socio-environmental organizations, associations and cooperatives in Amazonas should strengthen this type of partnership, in order to stimulate responsible choices also in the institutional scope.
“All organizations have a dedicated budget for food consumption. Ideally, these values should increasingly be invested in initiatives oriented to organic production and products extracted from rivers and forests”, he recommends.
Launched in May 2015, the Apuí Agroforestry Coffee (Café Apuí Agroflorestal) is the result of an initiative led by IDESAM (Institute of Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon) in the municipality of Apuí, located in the extreme south of the Amazonas state. The project began in 2012, with financial support from the Vale Fund (Fundo Vale), which extended until the end of 2016 and generated important results (portuguese only) to the municipality’s coffee value chain.
Nowadays, the project continues to support local producers and focuses on their social organization, in order to achieve organic certification for the production.
In almost three years since its launch, the product has already reached markets in Manaus, Porto Velho, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and São Paulo. The coffee caters to an audience increasingly concerned with source traceability and production ethics.
“In addition to the environmental benefits and the distinguished flavor, the way it is produced – agrochemicals-free – places the coffee as a great choice for those who also think about their health”, Carlos Koury explains, technical director of Idesam.