Coffee growing in Carmo de Minas has been the business of the Pereira family since 1979. When the family started managing the 215-hectare farmland at Fazenda Santa Ines, it was already planted in coffee, but they opted to plant new varieties and update the work model in order to improve quality and productivity. At the time the family took over management at Santa Ines, the Carmo de Minas region was experiencing problems with quality. The family hired experts to help improve quality, they introduced new harvesting/processing techniques, and they also implemented the newest farm technology available. Since making these changes, the coffees from Santa Ines have stood out in regional and national contests: In 2005, a sample from Fazenda Santa Ines won first place in Cup of Excellence Brazil, with a world-record 95.85 score.
The farm is planted with Catucai, Yellow and Red Catuai, Yellow and Red Bourbon, and Acaia on about 100 hectares; the rest of the farmland is used for bananas, corn, and dairy cows. Annual coffee production is around 4,000 bags.
"In Carmo, soil and climatic conditions are favorable to the coffee. It is what French people call 'terroir,' and our region is doing its homework; we are on the right way. Now we can only expect better times," the family says.