Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza
The farm behind Brazil’s sustainable coffee movement
Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF), a 2,000 hectare estate in the southern state of São Paulo, has ignited a movement in Brazil’s coffeelands. Led by Silvia Barretto, her husband, Marcos Croce, and their son, Felipe Croce, FAF has done nothing less than prove the viability of sustainable and organic coffee farming in a country whose reputation as an agricultural powerhouse is built upon an industrialized, chemically dependent model.
From dirt to soil
Silvia Barretto inherited her family’s historic farm in the early 2000s and returned to Brazil soon after, having lived abroad for the duration of Brazil’s military dictatorship, which transpired decades earlier. Silvia and Marcos knew they wanted to do things differently—years of large-scale farming had, according to Marcos, reduced the soil to “dirt.” Despite facing a dramatic loss in profits, they immediately converted all of their land to organic production, believing that restoration of the ecosystem’s vitality would not only produce better coffee, but also give FAF and its workers a viable livelihood in a time when coffee farmers face the dual threats of climate change and fluctuating commodity prices.
After years of intensive reforestation, organic fertilization, and intercropping, FAF is producing some of the most delicious coffees from any origin. As remarkable as the coffees’ quality is, perhaps even more exciting is the cadre of farmers who has joined FAF’s cause, receiving mentorship and technical assistance from the farm, which is as much a center for learning as it is a source of specialty coffee. An entire landscape—and hundreds of farmers’ lives—have literally been transformed because of FAF’s vision and fortitude.
Sparkling new single origins from FAF
This year's harvests from FAF and nearby farms are the best we've tasted yet, and are the kinds of coffees we love to drink—for being delicious, and for reshaping a complicated economy while giving coffee farmers everywhere a blueprint of how to do things differently.