The Fazenda Vaccaro is passing the organic technology to the small farmers of the Chapada Diamantina (in the brazilian State of Bahia), in the form of free lectures and courses to associations or groups of producers. The Fazenda Vaccaro is daily open to visitors, thus allowing the farmers to put theory into practice. The Fazenda opens its doors to any type of visitor.
In the first place, the Fazenda Vaccaro chose to produce a traditional, high quality organic spirit, named cachaça. It was a decision based on market research, considering the fact that quality cachaça is being looked at with different eyes. Leaving aside a healthy dose of patriotism, the number of connoisseurs of good cachaça is growing rapidly, to the detriment of – mostly imported – other spirits.
Secondly, the Fazenda opted for coffee, a crop already available on the same farm formerly named Cachoeira de Manoel Gomes. Since 1998, the year that the farm became the Fazenda Vaccaro, the Fazenda has been working with organic agriculture. The organic coffee is being sold in co-operation with the association Pinga – Pinga of Catolés, in the district of Abaira. In a near future this association – together with other partners of the Chapada Diamantina – intends to offer the roasted and grinded coffee directly to the consumer, in an attempt to improve the income of its associates.
AN ECOLOGICALLY CORRECT AND SOCIALLY FAIR PRODUCT
The Cachaça Serra das Almas, produced on the Fazenda Vaccaro, is made of the syrup of fermented sugar cane. The growing of the sugar cane as well as the production of the spirit are done in agreement with the directives of the Organic Agriculture IBD – Certificate (Instituto Bio Dinâmico).
Because of its special environmental conditions, the Chapada Diamantina is a traditional cachaça – growing region. Infertile sandy soils and scarce rains increase the concentration of sugars in the sugar cane and reduce the substances that may damage the flavour of the cachaça. The cold mountainous climate of the Chapada stimulates a more harmonious fermentation with a nearly complete elimination of undesirable by – products.The under these favourable conditions gained raw materials are ennobled into a cachaça with a mild aroma in the up-to-date installations of the Fazenda Vaccaro.
FAIR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LOCAL SMALL FARMERS
Besides the production of a high quality cachaça, the Fazenda Vaccaro Ltd. has got the ambition to improve the local small farmers’ life standard. Therefore, since 1998, the Fazenda has been promoting association organization and organic agriculture, and has been offering free technical assistance. The Fazenda puts 60 % of the production capacity of its stills to the disposal of the partners prepared to adopt the system of organic agriculture.
Five partners have already received the certificate, nineteen others are in process of receiving it. First goal is, with 30 partners, to produce up to 2200 l each per year. The small farmers grow the sugar cane on their land and deliver it to the Fazenda. From there onwards, the Fazenda carries out the production of the cachaça ( grinding, fermentation and distilling ), the bottling, quality control and marketing. The Fazenda finances the purchase of bottles, labels, caps, packaging and anticipated taxes. The Fazenda Vaccaro only deducts the cost of the above described services plus 10% from the gross sales price. The extra amount ( above the required 2200 l ) is handed over directly to the small farmer without any further deductions.
SELECTION OF THE PARTNERS
There are four communities in the vicinity of the Fazenda Vaccaro: Jiló with about 80 families at a distance of 5 km; Brumadinho with approximately 20 families, 4 km away; Barra / Bananal with about 60 families at a distance of 4 km; Fazendola with more or less 40 families, 10 km from the Fazenda.
Admission requirements are:
• to be an associate of ARCA (Associação Riocontense de Agricultura Orgânica)
• to possess the organic certificate and with production
• to be held on the Fazenda Vaccaro- to be part of PRONAF ( Programa Nacional de Agricultura familiar)
One or two – year extension requirements are:
• to be in need of resources in order to maintain the already existing production process.
• to adequately have applied the previous resources
• to precisely have followed the guidelines of the organic certificate of the IBD.
In case the project should be successful, we intend to enlarge our installations in order to produce – again within an organic process – raw sugar, sweets, jellies, liquors and dried fruits. 30% of the raw materials will come from the Fazenda Vaccaro and 70% from the partners. The same criteria of partnership, used for the production of cachaça, will be applied, focusing on the sustainability of the farmers’ lands.
We believe to be the only private Brazilian enterprise with a vertical social rural project.