Q&A with Daterra Estate: The Reforestation Project

Q&A with Daterra Estate: The Reforestation Project

We’re bringing you news from our friends at Daterra in Minas Gerais Brazil. This eco-focussed estate is the source of our long-standing customer favourite coffee The Baron. They hold some of the best sustainability credentials in the industry, becoming the first coffee farm in the world to receive Level A Certification from the Rainforest Alliance.

Daterra translates as “from the earth”, an association the entire team seeks to uphold, with sustainability and environmental care at the core of their operation. This is reflected in Project Beanstalk, a reforestation initiative launched at the start of lockdown. Between the 14th April and the 14th June for every kilo of The Baron purchased by you, Daterra committed to planting a tree on the farm and the surrounding area. Thanks to your coffee habits and love for The Baron we’ve collectively contributed 4030 native trees to the rainforest! Think of it as a green voucher.

We caught up with Juliana Sorati at Daterra to find out a little more about the project.

What locations are you planting the trees?

The exact locations are still under planning by our team. We expect to plant not only in our farms but also plant in the cities around our farms.

What types of trees will you be planting?

We will plant native trees only. It’s important that these trees are native types for several reasons: first, native species are adapted to the climate and require less resources like nutrition and, most importantly, water. Besides that, local animals and insects rely on native trees for food and shelter – increasing native vegetation also means allowing the fauna to inhabit in the area. We are producing the seedlings ourselves, in our nursery.

Why is this important in the first place?

This project is a small part of a bigger picture: we have committed ourselves to planting 3 million trees in Brazil in the next ten years – we call this initiative the Treellion project. We have set this goal because according to The World Economic Forum, humanity needs to plant 1 trillion trees around the world within this decade to fight climate change. Here in Daterra we want to help achieve this goal, and we’ve come to the conclusion that we can contribute with 3 million. It’s a huge goal but we believe we can do it in partnership with the public and private sectors. Since Daterra’s foundation in 1995 we have already planted more than 610,000 native Cerrado trees. All those trees were planted mainly for two things: reforestation areas and wildlife corridors. Reforestation areas are, as the name says, areas where we restore native vegetation. Wildlife corridors are groves planted on several spots of the farm: these groves allow animals to mate and circulate around the farm area safely (anyone from Climpson’s team who has visited us can confirm that that are plenty of wild birds and mammals going around the farm)

Who is planting them? And how long will it take!?

These trees will be planted by Daterra – that means that all the costs of growing the seedling, labor time and workforce and are covered by us. It’s harvesting season right now so our agronomy team is very busy with that, as soon as it’s finished they’ll be able to give more time to this planning. 

And any other info on how Daterra is doing over this time, we would love to hear more!

At Daterra we have been preparing ourselves for the pandemic way before COVID arrived here. Since the beginning of the virus spread, our team has invested a lot of time planning different scenarios considering pretty much everything that could happen and how to act in face of any challenges that would arise. Four different scenarios were planned, from the most pessimistic to the most optimistic one. Fortunately, the situation is well controlled in the region where our farms are located, but still we are implementing a series of measures to guarantee the safety of our staff as well as enabling the harvest to happen. We had to drastically reduce the workforce this year to the minimum necessary, which was only possible because we started preparing for this very early. Even with fewer people, we are following very strict safety and hygiene protocols. It’s been very successful and the situation is very well controlled among our employees! Despite the tragic pandemic, we have very good news from the field: this year’s quality is outstanding! The climate has been very favorable this year, allowing a very even and slow maturation. Right now, we have already harvested about 80% of the total area, which is uncommon: usually, at the end of August we are almost done, so we still have a couple of weeks of harvest to go. We hope that next year we can have Climpson’s team here again to see all that!

We’ll be teaming up with Daterra to celebrate International Coffee Day on the 1st October with a celebration of Brazilian coffee at our site in Old Spitalfields Market and across our social media. Grab yourself a bag of The Baron to raise a cup of Brazilian coffee with us here.

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