Ipanema Coffees achieves 2 million bags of specialty coffees exported directly to clients worldwide
This is the first time in Brazil that such a volume is achieved for exports with origin, direct from the farm. Based on innovative processes that result in consistent production and trade, Ipanema has developed long-term relationships with their customers, increasingly achieving markets in Europe and the United States, Australia, Russia, Japan and South Korea, among others.
Ipanema Coffees, a leading Brazilian producer and exporter of specialty coffees, owner of three farms with 14 million trees planted and milling facilities, located in the south of Minas Gerais state, is celebrating a record of 2,000,000 bags exported in 26 years, directly from the farm to clients worldwide. This achievement, reached this week after shipment of 2.160 bags to Tchibo in Germany, has special significance, since September 1991 marks a milestone in the history of Ipanema Coffees. It was the day Ipanema debuted in the international market, exporting the first 3,000 bags coincidently to Tchibo.
The 2,000,000 bags is a unique achievement (each bag weighs 132 pounds). This is the first time in Brazil that such a volume is reached, taking into account that these are exports with origin, direct from the farm. Most of Brazilian coffee exports consist of coffees to be used in blends of mass consumption. Ipanema´s beans, on the other hand, are pure, without blends and without mixtures with coffees of other types and of other regions.
Ipanema´s international clients know exactly where coffee came from, that is, from a region with quality attributes that are inherent to the product. The coffee is labeled according to its origin. When defining which variety to plant, besides considering the environment (topography, soil, climate and altitude), it is essential to know their intrinsic characteristics. For this reason, Ipanema specialists evaluate plant architectures, vegetative vigor, longevity, maturation characteristics, fruit size and especially productive potential and cup quality. This means the best Arabica species, with varieties such as Acaia, Mundo Novo and Bourbon. A lot of important details are taken into consideration during the production process that turns Ipanema´s coffee into a final product of excelllence.
The unique achievement of 2 milllion bags is being commemorated with clients, partners, employees and friends. “This achievement was made possible by the strong relationship with clients, the daily efforts of our employees in the fields, milling and offices, and continuous investment in innovation, research and sustainability”, says Washington Rodrigues, Ipanema Coffees CEO.
Ipanema became an exporter of specialty coffees in 1991, after a change in domestic regulation of coffee trading that opened the international markets to Brazilian producers. Before that the governmental control granted limited export licenses to a small number of exporters. This policy lasted for 30 years and lead coffee producers to focus just on quantity, since all coffee qualities were paid by the same price and sold under labels as “Santos 4”. Besides that, farmers and producers had no incentives to improve quality.
After 1990, when more liberal governmental policies were adopted and coffee producers allowed to export directly, Ipanema Coffees quickly seized the opportunity to expand its activities beyond the country borders and became a pioneer in direct exports. Since 1991, the company has built strong relationships with clients in 28 countries, a list that keeps expanding.
High-quality specialty coffees
For Ipanema Coffees, the production and export of high-quality specialty coffees is a daily practice closer to scientific methodologies than to aleatory factors that usually interfere in farming. On the three farms located in the south of Minas Gerais state, a team composed of seven hundred employees follows strict methodologies that put together the best of the land and advanced technologies that ensure production constancy to always deliver the best product to their customers. Just to mention 2016, test platforms engaged 90 glebes, 210 tons of coffee, and more than 200 employees. Sophisticated matrices are defined, implemented and continuously repeated with the aim of achieving harvest and preparation differentiated models, ensuring specialty coffee continuous quality for millions of consumers who appreciate Ipanema flavor in the 28 countries to which the company products are exported.
“We adopt countless test matrices which starts with the selection of glebes, chosen among other factors for their altitude, since the highest, the best. Variety is also important. Bourbon’s distinguishing mark, for instance, is to offer a high-quality, fine cup of coffee. Besides, the notes background of each glebe is taken into consideration”, says Washington Rodrigues, a coffee lover who is also driven by an obstinate pursuit of perfection. Different combinations of harvest type, coffee preparation, patios and dryers used in each test are pre-defined and tested more than once.
“Based on a sole structural thinking of tests, we look for a differentiated model of production. Innovative ways of harvesting, drying and milling. For this reason, it was not a surprise for us when we recently achieved 92 points with the Special Reserve blend, rated in the city of Taipei, in Taiwan, by Coffee Review, one of the most respected publications for coffee buyers in the world. Rates like this reflect a consistency in our fieldwork, the mission of overcoming aleatory factors and always achieving the highest rates, especially the ones awarded by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), from the U.S., a reference in the segment”, says Rodrigues.
In practice, the goal is to increasingly approximate farming to a scientific process, since a test methodology has never been implemented in Brazil, such as the one adopted by Ipanema. This effort is not limited to Ipanema’s development in the market. “The goal is to be able to help producers in general achieve another level”, highlights Rodrigues. This means that when we outline a quality matrix, Ipanema defines a new production concept and is capable of offering consulting services to other producers, increasing learning and sales opportunities in a global market that appreciates specialty coffees more and more. “This new model based on high technology can be transmitted to other producers who wish to achieve this efficiency and quality level of management in their farms”, explains Rodrigues.
About Ipanema Coffees
Ipanema Coffees is among the most renowned specialty coffee producers in the international market, and their work is guided by innovation, long-term relationships and consistency in their production and trade of specialty coffees for importers, coffee roasters and coffee shops. With 14 million trees planted on three farms in the south of the State of Minas Gerais – Rio Verde, Conquista and Capoeirinha – Ipanema offers seven labels – Reserve, Bourbon, Ouro Preto, Gourmet, Espresso, Conquista and Dulce – and countless possibilities provided by their production areas, tailoring products as well as packaging and traceability unique solutions for each customer.
Based on processes focused on innovation, which result in operational excellence and consistency in production and commercialization, Ipanema develops long-term relationships with their customers. Due to the specialty coffee consumption around the world, their strategy is to invest in important local players from several countries. Therefore, Ipanema conquers more and more markets in Europe, the United States, Australia, Russia, Japan and Sourth Korea, among others.
Pioneer in Brazil in specialty coffee export, Ipanema Coffees celebrates, in 2017, 26 years of external market presence, taking the highest quality coffees to 28 countries, and summing up, at the end of this period, 2.0 million bags – each bag weighs 132 pounds (60 kg). Innovative techniques and equipment continuously improve their processes and products to take the best to the external market. Every stage of the production chain ensures the highest quality: ideal level of cherry ripening, harvest method, lot classification, container loading, and delivery to end customers. Micro-lots and exclusive blends come alive from the monitoring of the bean quality during the whole milling process and the meticulous analysis of the tasting profile.