Brazil coffee harvest starts in the heart of its biggest city

Volunteers picked through one of the world’s largest urban coffee farms at Sao Paulo’s Instituto Biológico, a centre of agricultural science in the heart of the metropolis, to mark the start of Brazil’s arabica harvest.

The party walked through tidy rows of 2,000 trees in the shadow of the institute’s towering art-deco headquarters, marvelling at the pastoral scene just a stone’s throw from the city’s central Ibirapuera Park. “I couldn’t believe there was a place like this with a coffee plantation here in Sao Paulo,” said Luciano Caporroz, a lawyer who is helping with the harvest. “Doesn’t it feel like therapy?”

Founded in the fight against the coffee borer beetle, the 93-year-old institute continues to research agricultural pests and donates most of its annual 600 kg (1,323 lb) harvest to charity. Prior harvests have drawn as many as 1,500 visitors to the institute. However, due to precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers welcomed a smaller group of volunteers with connections to the institute this year.

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