We are proud to work with Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF) to receive this organic coffee from the Santa Maria farm in Brazil. The FAF name translates to Environmental Fortress Farm, accurately describing the focus of FAF. Their mission is "to be a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable farm - a model that sows the seeds of sustainability to the individual, to the family, and to the business community and to society as a whole."
FAF has been in the Barretto family since 1850. The farm began the transformation to an environmentally and socially responsible business when Silvia Barretto inherited the land in 2001. Silvia and her husband, Marcos Croce, decided to transition the farm to organic certification. This process came with many obstacles, including an initial drastic drop in coffee production due to the elimination of agrochemicals. However, Silvia and Marcos remained committed to organic practices and developed strategies to create unique opportunities on their farm. As they embraced organic standards they also diversified the farm and started a 50% profit-sharing agreement with their farm workers to give them ownership over the coffee planted. The seeds of success came in 2007 with their first container of coffee exports. The following year, in 2008, the Barretto family won the SCAA Sustainability Award. Neighboring farmers recognized the growth the FAF farm experienced and expressed interest in their model. FAF expanded the reach of its' mission through partnership opportunities with other local coffee farms. Today, FAF continues to harvest their own coffee, operates a coffee lab for quality control and research, and represents a network of coffee producers in the area.
Santa Maria is part of the FAF network through a project called Bobolink Coffee, bringing together farmers who are dedicated to the same vision of a sustainable future for coffee producers. Santa Maria has been in operation for over 50 years, and is currently implementing practices to preserve biodiversity, prohibit the use of agrochemicals, and ensure improved livelihoods of farm workers.