Encompassing a staggering 6,405 hectares (~16,000 acres) of tropical savannah in Brazil’s Cerrado region, Daterra produces coffee on a dramatically different scale than every other farm that Passenger currently purchases from. While the Daterra project was originally founded by Luis Pascoal in 1973, coffee production did not begin in earnest till 1983. In the years since, broad expansion of the company’s coffee operations has been a key area of focus in pursuit of its triple bottom line: “People, Planet, Profit”. Consistently lauded as the most sustainable farm in Brazil, Daterra holds the country’s first Rainforest Alliance certification, and, like Passenger, is a certified B Corporation.
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Given Daterra’s size, its status as a negative emissions agribusiness (i.e. a business that absorbs more CO2 than it emits) is all the more inspiring. More than half of the farm is reserved exclusively for natural preservation and 300 hectares of land have been intentionally reforested in recent years. The team has planted over 600,000 native trees in Cerrado since the beginning of the project, and in 2021 they announced an ambitious commitment to increasing their carbon sequestration a further 50% by 2030, with the planting of 20 million additional trees.
While the scope of Daterra’s operations, and resources, presents a profound contrast to the smallholder producers that Passenger buys from in other countries, we are incredibly proud to count this visionary farm as one of our Foundational Partners. As the amount of land suitable for coffee production around the world shrinks dramatically due to climate change, farms like Daterra, that push innovation and model regenerative agricultural practices, point to what a more sustainable future for coffee production could look like. Beyond this, Daterra is hyper focused on coffee quality and consistently produces what is, in our opinion, some of the finest coffee in Brazil.
During a cupping session at the Daterra lab in the summer of 2022, Passenger’s green buying team had the opportunity to taste a new coffee that was being prepared as the latest addition to the Daterra offerings catalog. The new coffee, that the Daterra team calls “Stardust”, is a 100% dry processed coffee that we are proud to share as Passenger’s latest Daterra Foundational Lot. After precise cherry selection thanks to the farm’s state of the art UNIPAC system, Stardust is dried in two controlled phases: first on patios for an initial 12-24 hours, and finally in mechanical drum dryers until the coffee reaches ~11% moisture content.