Ipanema Agrícola SA (Fazendas Conquista, Capoeirinha e Rio Verde)

Websitehttp://www.ipanemacoffees.com.br
AddressRod. Br 369 - Km 175 Fazenda Conquista
Zipcode37130-000
CityAlfenas
StateMinas Gerais
CountryBrazil
 

Faz Conquista e Capoerinha - Ipanema Agricola

Background

Ipanema Agricola S.A. is a Brazilian agriculture business, concentrated on the specialty coffee market. Its coffees distributed in more than 16 countries. The company has three main production units:

  • Conquista Farm: 1,530 ha, elevation 800 - 850m.
  • Capoeirinha Farm: 1,470 ha, elevation 800 - 950m.
  • Rio Verde Farm: 750 ha, elevation 800 - 1.350m.

All the farms are located in the Sul de Minas region, equidistant from the three largest consumer centers in the country (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte), with a mild subtropical climate and ideal level of rainfall.

The coffee produced by the farms is 100% traceable: traceability tags are attached to each bag, setting out information such as buyer’s name, destination port, contract number, number of bags, ICO number, and the certification carried.

12 different coffee labels are produced, as well as additional custom-made coffee blends.

In addition to being UTZ certified, the company is a member of the Rainforest Alliance and the Starbucks preferred supplier program.

Ipanema has a permanent management, commercial and agricultural staff of around 700 employees. An additional 2,000 jobs become available during the harvest season each year.

Better Environment

- Chemical and organic fertilizers: Soil nutrient replacement is based on a company-developed soil and leaf analysis method. Once the plant's needs are determined, liquid application is used to add nutrients, thus optimizing production costs and preventing soil and water contamination.

- Residue: ‘The 3 Rs Program’ (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) is a part of every field and auxiliary operation. All recyclable material is sent to recycling companies and organic residue is composted and subsequently returned to the soil.
- Packages: Pesticide packaging is triple washed, safely stored and sent back to the manufacturers for recycling or incinerating.
- Integrated Pest and Disease Management: Low toxicity products are only applied on critically infested areas, and monitored through the tracking system that takes into account the impact on the environment.
- Water Preservation: Coffee processing and pulping water is closed-looped recycled and reused to reduce consumption and control watercourse contamination. Given its high nutritional content, process water is treated and used to ferti-irrigate the coffee plantation.
- Biodiversity Protection and Conservation: More than 800 hectares are set aside for biodiversity preservation, with the aim of protecting and preserving springs, native forests, and the habitats of native flora and fauna.
- Renewable Energy Sources: An integrated boiler and radiator system supplies heat to the mechanical driers by means of circulating hot water. Wood used to stoke the boilers comes from three eucalyptus plantations specifically planted for that use.
- Electric Power Use Reduction: Equipment that consumes a lot of energy is used outside peak consumption hours in order to reduce energy costs.

 

Better Lives

Ipanema Agricola sees Human Capital – defined as people’s health, knowledge, skills and motivation – as an essential element for transforming financial capital into wealth. Therefore it invests heavily in developing human capital through training, qualifications and education.

All company employees undergo yearly skills assessments to determine their abilities and training needs according to their operational function. A job-rotation model is used to encourage employees to master skills in different functional areas.

There is a whole department focused on Health and Safety and Occupational Medicine. The team is made up of safety engineers, a doctor, and safety technicians charged with assessing operational risks, developing proper work procedures, and controlling the use of individual and collective safety equipment.

Medical and dental assistance is provided for employees and family members and a community pharmacy distributes free medicine to those who need it.

Further, the company provides meal supplements (around 60,000 meals a year), free transportation, and free legal and psychological aid as needed.

There are several education programs run by the company:
- A children’s pastoral scheme focuses on the physical and emotional well-being of both mother and child from the prenatal stage onwards.
- Ipanema sponsors day care centers attended by some 700 children.
- Education in Action: this program for children focuses on reading, ecology, video, music, drama, art and computer classes.
- Telecurso 1o Grau is intended for needy youths and adults who want to finish their schooling and obtain their graduation diplomas, benefits more than 400 students in five classrooms.
- Telecurso 2o Grau serves youths and adults who finished Grammar and Junior High School and wish to attend Senior High School. Ipanema helps over 330 people in five classrooms.
- An addiction recovery program provides psychological and social support.

Outlook

Many employees and their families tend to rely on the income earned by a single wage earner at the company. Therefore, Ipanema plans to open a small additional company that will offer services such as embroidering the workers uniforms and polo shirts, providing additional employment.

 

Fazenda Ipanema

"The reason we got UTZ CERTIFIED is to improve our managment system and provide traceability to our customers. The biggest changes the certification implied for us were internally in terms of management system and controls. For us, UTZ CERTIFIED is the future for coffee producers and buyers."