Daterra is synonymous with quality, sustainability, and innovation, and we are proud to have coffees from this incredible farm underpinning our offering. The farm is vast, encompassing 6,600 hectares. This is in stark contrast to many of the farms that we source our coffee from, which are usually only single digit in terms of hectare coverage - but it is what Daterra does with this land that makes it stand out.
2,700 hectares is under plantation, with the remainder being set aside for environmental preservation. The land under plantation is divided into 216 plots ranging from 5-15 hectares, each of which is managed by a dedicated agronomist to ensure optimal growth conditions, and harvesting. On top of this, a significant portion of the land under plantation is dedicated to innovation, whether it be growing new varieties, or experimental processing.
Only a farm of Daterra’s scale can afford to allocate their resources in this way, and conduct such experiments. As is the nature with experimentation, it frequently doesn’t work, and the coffee has to be discarded. For a smaller farm losing this much crop would be financially unsustainable, but Daterra is able to weather the cost. These experiments ultimately lead to a greater understanding of coffee, including matters such as what varieties can be grown successfully in the Cerrado Mineiro, and what processes result in delicious cup profiles. Daterra is happy to make their findings freely available, which has knock on benefits for other farms in the region, and the coffee community as a whole.
The list of accolades is impressive. In 2015 Daterra was named Brazil’s most sustainable farm by Globo Rural, Brazil’s foremost agricultural publication, who noted that, “the farm… was the one with the highest sustainability rating among all 124 participants. Daterra presented all the attributes that a sustainable farm must have: extreme concern for the conservation of natural resources… human development and high profitability… It has five socio-environmental certifications - Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Esalq Ambiental, IBD and ISO 14001 - applies good agricultural practices in 100% of the cultivated area, and stimulates and supports its employees with well-defined social programs.”
Daterra followed this up by becoming the first farm in the world to receive Level A certification from Rainforest Alliance, and achieving B-Corp certification in 2016. More recently it has launched a project to plant 3 million trees in Brazil by 2030 in order to mitigate climate change. In the 25 years since the farm was founded they have planted over 600,000 native Cerrado trees, so this is a considerable gear change, but if anyone can achieve it, we believe Daterra can.
Tom visited Daterra in 2019, and aside from all the incredible things that he saw there from a coffee growing and processing perspective, it was the sense of a real and genuine commitment to sustainability above all other things that stayed with him. The culture of thinking on a grander scale, and of putting people and the planet first seemed to pervade every person, and every decision that is made on the farm. This being the case makes us proud to showcase the incredible coffee that Daterra produces.