Campos Family History:
The 19th Century was coming to an end. Brazil was bubbling politically. The country was already beckoning a change from monarchy to republic. Slavery was losing power, however it still survived due to the large production of Brazilian agriculture. It is in this scenario that the Campos family kept strong roots in the countryside of Minas Gerais, more precisely in the hamlet of São Francisco de Paula. The small town was until then a district of the city of Oliveira, 160 kilometers from the capital of the state, Belo Horizonte. Brazilian coffees, especially from Minas Gerais, were emerging as high-penetration products in foreign markets. Mário Campos e Silva became a coffee producer of great strength in the hamlet in 1904. The visionary country man, born in Paracatu on November 3, 1873, and rooted in São Francisco de Paula, had advanced production for the standards of the time, at which many producers still used slave labor.
Mário Campos e his wife, Maria José Cambraia de Campos, affectionately called “voinha” (little grandmother) by her grandchildren, had a son, Francisco Cambraia de Campos. Not unlike his father, Francisco also went to work on the farm, learning from a young age the field crafts, such as administering family business and caring for the coffee fields. Decades passed and Mário’s family grew. On May 20, 1946, grandson Eduardo Pinheiro Campos was born. The boy was the great pride of his father, Francisco, and his mother, Maria Conceição Pinheiro de Campos. He grew up, following the example of his father, on the farm, accustomed to rural life. He learned in loco the handle bulls and cows, as he also learned the challenges and secrets of coffee production. His adolescent years encouraged him to spread his wings. Life in small São Francisco de Paula, today emancipated and with a population not greater than 8 thousand inhabitants, is bucolic. Age 15 provoked further unrest. Eduardo was a diligent and shrewd student. His intelligence took him to Belo Horizonte, 175 kilometers from his father’s land and the comfort of his family.
After finishing his schooling, Eduardo Campos already had in mind which profession he wanted to dedicate himself to. Being an engineer was in the youth’s head as the obvious path. He studied civil engineering and became one of the major professionals in the sector in the Brazilian southeast. Some time later, he founded a new company, Emccamp Residencial. In it, Eduardo worked hard alongside his brother, Régis. Destiny is also undoubtable for Eduardo Pinheiro Campos Filho and André de Souza Lima Campos, sons of Eduardo and his wife, Dalva Maria de Souza Lima Campos. The two youths followed in the footsteps of their father and today are civil engineers. Emccamp maintains close family ties in the workplace, making it always pleasant and motivating.
However destiny would demand a special look at coffee growing. Still young, Eduardo Campos received a parental inheritance, a good piece of land in Presidente Olegário, a city in Minas Gerais 430 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte. The farm was christened “Dona Neném,” in homage to his mother.
As short time after discovering himself as an engineer, Eduardo Campos rediscovered himself as an agro-businessman. Coffee permanently returned to the hands of the man from Minas Gerais. “I started working with coffee production in the Cerrado region in 1977. In other parts of the Cerrado there was already coffee production, although in a timid way,” boasts Campos. In Patrocínio and Araguari there were some acquaintances from Oliveira who were using the fertile land (albeit still untamed) of the Cerrado region to raise cattle and to develop coffee cultivation. However, in Presidente Olegário coffee fields were a novelty.
The first farm is that with the highest production. With a total area of 600 hectares, the SãoJoão Grande farm has 375 hectares devoted to coffee. Dona Neném, with 800 hectares, has 230 hectares separated for producing coffee. The farm is also strong in cattle raising. Boa Sorte is another property on which beef cattle are raised. Moreover, the farm is the largest of the three ranches belonging to the Campos family, with 1900 hectares, in addition to being the only one there is not even a single coffee tree. In total, there are 2500 head of zebu nelore, a rustic, strong and well-acclimatized kind of cattle. The zebu are a species of Indian origin that arrived in Brazil at the beginning of the 20th century. Currently, the Brazilian herd is recognized as one of the best meats on the world market. Mr. Campos’ nelores are part of it.
The 3300 hectares are not only used for growing coffee and raising zebu. A part of the three ranches is separated for subsistence agriculture. Many of the foods consumed by the family and by Eduardo Campos’ collaborators are grown on the farms in Presidente Olegário. Of course, some hectares are untouchable, solely for environmental preservation.
The environment is priority number one. Because of this, Campos replanted a good part of the native vegetation of the region, making up for some of the environmental impact caused by the cattle herd and by the coffee. It is not just the trees that recompose the scenery, the waters are also part of the natural protection. Eduardo Campos recovers Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs). The APPs (as they are commonly referred to in Brazil) are limits drawn between the edges of streams, lakes or rivers and the start of crops. This distance maintains the high quality of the waters and guarantees the future of watersheds.
The strict environmental laws followed to the letter, added to good agricultural production practices, management, and attention to society guarantee the three farms important international certification seals. Boa Sorte, Dona Neném and São João Grande are certified by UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance. In addition to extra concern for the environment, the crops receive totally monitored anti-pest treatment. The patios, rest boxes, depots and all the other sectors of the farm are duly sanitized, without any risk of contaminating the beans. The workers are well received and receive all benefits prescribed by Brazilian labor law.
Another important step for maintaining the certifications is the harvest period. Campos explains how he is able to perform a selective harvest, seeking high quality of the berries. “My harvest is done by machines that perform a selective harvest. The choice is make by the degree of maturation of the beans, which is differentiated by the weight and density of each seed. We regulate the machine to pick only the so-called “cherry,” leaving the green coffee to ripen on the tree. Days later, we return and pick those beans that stayed in the coffee fields, that were green and are now ripe, at the ideal point to harvest. After this second pass, some beans still remain, and these are picked by hand, which we call the manual re-pass. This entire process is to obtain a quality crop.”
Another point of attention is the renovation of the coffee fields. The coffee trees are renewed to guarantee the strength of the berries. There are greenhouses with seedlings grown for replacement, substituting old plants. “We have a renovation program, and each year I renew 10% of my crops. The Cerrado is a region that has many variations, it is a place with higher average temperatures that other regions like, for example, the South of Minas Gerais, and because of this some farmers, like us, have for 10 to 12 years chosen to renew the crops,” Campos relates. After about a decade, the yield of the tree starts to decline and renovation guarantees a younger harvest with more beans and higher-quality berries.
All of the work with redoubled caution is rewarded. Eduardo Campos’ production has repeatedly figured in prominent positions in competitions that prize the best coffees of the country. The family’s coffee achieved third place in the 13th Illy contest, was the winner the 4th Brazil Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffees Competition, was a finalist of the Minas Gerais Coffee Quality Contest in 2010, 2011, and 2012, was the winner of the Cerrado Coffees Festival held in Tokyo, Japan in 2011 and 2012, furthermore in the Minas Gerais Cerrado was third place in the Top Prize of the Region, and was a finalist in several Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) competitions, including for three straight years, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and
now in 2013.
Note that one cannot achieve good production overnight. The coffee crops provide secular sustenance for the family. It is a tradition coupled with innovation, which enriches local production and the strength of Brazilian coffee. “It is a pleasure to work with coffee. First, because it is a family tradition. Only on my part, I have been in coffee for more than 40 years. My father, 70, and my grandfather who produced for a long time…We can say that coffee has been part of the family for 100 years. That’s more than a century of tradition in coffee farming, and always innovating,” Campos calculates.
Such quality is savored by coffee connoisseurs on, at least, three continents. The 70 thousand bags produced in the last three years reached millions of consumers in Italy, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and in many other countries. It is certain that many others will taste the delight that is the “cherry” planted and well cared for on Campos’ land, this special flavor of quality, that has been sampled since the 19th century.
Coffee processing system:
This is cited in the history, but I mention that all the processes are done in the washer: Natural, pulped natural, demucilated natural, washed.
Concern about quality:
This is cited in the history. However, I comment that concern about quality begins before the harvest and all the plots are analyzed both in the physical and sensorial aspects before the harvest itself in order to find the ideal harvest point and the best process to be used. All the lots are separated and tracked using names giving according to their scores. All machinery is prepared to receive and separate all the lots, rotating dryers that use the rotation methodology for drying, processing machines with settings for each type of process, latest-generation densimetric tables, high-capacity, high-efficiency electronic graders, in addition to storage totally protected from light and humidity.
|Farm Name||Fazenda Dona Nenem|
|Farmer/Rep.||Eduardo Pinheiro Campos|
|Country||Brazil Pulped Naturals|
|Size (30kg boxes)||22|
|Program||Brazil Pulped Naturals 2013|
|Aroma/Flavor||sweet, chocolate, honey, bread, floral, caramel|
|Acidity||orange citric acidity, peach|
|Other||sweetness, lemon, sugar cane, vanilla, very good body, cream|
|Processing system||Pulped Natural|
|Coffee Growing Area||280 hectares|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||1455|
|High bidders||Mercanta The Coffee Hunters for Caffè Cataldi (France), Sarl Hoos (France), Kaffeespezialitaet (Austria), Origin Coffee Roasting (South Africa)|