With CertifiCafé’s technology, the group of small coffee growers achieved the Rainforest Alliance seal. The international certification identifies coffees grown on properties that strictly follow the country’s laws and the social and environmental standards established by the certifier. The seven small family farming producers have, on average, an area of 15 hectares of planted coffee and are the first of their size to achieve this seal among the 36 thousand coffee growers in the Region of Matas de Minas. These producers used CertifiCafé technology and are also part of the Café+Forte Technical and Management Assistance Program (ATeG) of the FAEMG/SENAR/INAES System.
Done in the conventional model, the certification process takes about a year to be completed. The group’s record time was the result of the commitment of those involved, since group certification is only validated if everyone is well evaluated in the audit, technical and management assistance and the technology of the startup CertifiCafé.
Fundamental to the agility of the process, the startup prepares the diagnosis of the property and makes available an application that shows coffee growers the adjustments to be made. At each completed stage, the producers upload proofs in text, audio or images on the platform and receive reports on the progress achieved.
At the end, all the documentation necessary for certification is digitally available to producers and auditors, simplifying and reducing the cost of the process and optimizing the audit time on the property.
INAES superintendent Silvana Novais learned about the idea early on, at the Avança Café event, promoted by Embrapa in 2019. Recognizing the potential and applicability of the technology for rural producers, Silvana volunteered to help them in the development of the startup. And it was she who bridged the gap between the Matas de Minas group and entrepreneurs Mauro Júnior, Luciano Oliveira and Leonardo Diniz.
“This pilot project had the essential look of technical agronomists at ATeG Café+Forte. The program prepares producers to organize the property, and the platform makes them see the improvements they need to make to obtain certification. In this sense, one completes the other, and I was very happy with the result”, explained Silvana.
“We were happy to see another advantage of the ATeG Program, which is the savings during the certification process. The group’s approval demonstrated that obtaining this seal is possible and viable for small producers. CertifiCafé’s solution democratizes certification and we hope to take it to the most attended by ATeG. Certification creates an opportunity for growth and opening to the international market.” – Marcos Reis, manager of the FAEMG/SENAR/INAES System in Viçosa
“The ATeG methodology already meets many certification requirements, with strengths in sustainability, integrated pest and disease management, water and soil management and management. SENAR also offers producers training that is required by Brazilian law and, as a result, we have more prepared producers.” – Daniel Prado, program supervisor at the Viçosa region, who participated in the group along with his wife Dulcinéia Prado
“The FAEMG System is concerned with bringing technology and innovation to products, and the partnership between CertifiCafé and ATeG proves the effectiveness and importance of this connection. With the technical guidelines and our methodology, we achieved the result at a cost 60% lower than certification in the conventional method.” – Mauro Júnior, CEO of CertifiCafé
“This achievement is historic and, without ATeG, it would be impossible. We drove 4,000 kilometers to follow the group closely. We managed to change the producer’s mentality, who found certification difficult and time-consuming and, now, are seeing it as an ally. We want to train ATeG technicians to use the technology and multiply this achievement.” – Luciano Oliveira, consultant and CMO at CertifiCafé
“Group certifications lower costs for everyone involved. For us, it was important to participate in this pilot project to get to know the profile of producers in the region and understand the demands for more work. The Rainforest Alliance seal is an important seal of quality and sustainability. There is a growing demand for products with this certificate on the international market.” – Alexandre Schuch, manager of the Ecocert Group in Brazil
“We are always concerned about the sustainability of our property, and winning the seal is a victory for us. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this group.” – Selma Garcia Gonçalves, wife of Arnaldo Gonçalves, assisted by ATeG, in Divino.
“I participated in the process as a producer and technician at ATeG. The achievement was a double satisfaction. During this period, I worked with producers Rogério Dutra and Gilson Clemente for a more discerning vision of the organization of properties and, mainly, of quality of life and work safety.” – Tadeu Vieira Otoni, ATeG coach in Santa Margarida
“We work as a family at Sítio Jasminum and certification was only possible because I had the help of my parents and sisters. We won together. I did the environmental plan and the licensing, and my father improved the organization and efficiency in carrying out activities in the field. We work with specialty coffee, and the seal is a big step towards the production of sustainable coffee. The experience was a learning experience that I will take to the producers I follow at ATeG.” – Jessica do Carmo, ATeG field technician and producer