Brazilians celebrated the International Labor Day on May 1st, and on May 25th they will celebrate the Rural Workers Day.

Brazilian agriculture has a relevant impact on the economy and this growth is deeply connected to the new technologies developed to help farmers in and out of their properties. These technologies are related to research, development and innovation, as well as to improving the productive processes, management and services involved in their activities.

In this regard, productivity progress in agricultural labor is contributing to obtaining the results seen in the productive chains.

Progress in Brazilian coffee production, represented by 300,000 farmers and by millions of workers, is a result of planning and of the daily efforts that demonstrate the competitiveness and sustainability of coffee national production, by supplying the domestic market and by meeting the most diversified and demanding global markets. It is important to stress that, according to the Table below, 86.2% of Brazilian farmers are in properties with less than 20 hectares, which demonstrates the importance of family agriculture in the Brazilian production.

Brazilian coffee production has broad and diversified programs to guide and train farmers and rural workers.  In addition, there are actions promoted by the coffee export segment that for more than 15 years now has been working towards digital inclusion, productive processes enhancement, with considerable improvement in coffee yield and harvested coffee quality.

International demand for a socially sustainable productive chain increases and is increasing more present in roasting companies that buy Brazilian coffees. Therefore, the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafe), as representative of the  Brazilian coffee export industry, recognizes and invests in actions to improve sustainability, which includes social, environmental and economic aspects of the whole production chain.

Cecafe has been working to strengthen actions in coffee regions, based on the following programs: Coffee’s Child at School Program, Digital Coffee Farmer Program, and Safe Coffee, with relevant results that strengthen sustainability in the Brazilian coffee production chain.

Aware of international demands for the industry, Cecafe now supports the Brazil Coffee Table Project,  at an invitation received from the National Pact to Eradicate Slave Labor Institute (InPACTO Institute) , and of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

The initiative aims at promoting aspects of transparency and promotion of decent work in the coffee sector of Brazil and has the support of certifying entities, governments and important international roasting companies.

Focusing its action in the State of Minas Gerais, the first effort will be to raise awareness of the social issues related to coffee production in the region and to mobilize governments, companies and civil society to establish a common agenda  focused on improving labor conditions. The purpose is also to contribute for the Brazilian coffee sector to consolidate itself as a world reference of a socially sustainable productive chain.

The theme decent work has been incorporated in the material for the training programs and in the training programs of the Digital Coffee Farmer Program, in the preparation and distribution of a folder with information about the subject in national and international events of the sector, making farmers aware of the work conditions in their properties and the progress noticed in the Brazilian coffee production chain.

Decent work is becoming more and more an important criterion in the multinational trade flow. That is the reason why frequent monitoring  occurs in rural properties, especially regarding compliance to labor legislation, and is of extreme importance for farmers.  The Digital Coffee Farmer Program promotes better work and labor conditions and avoid problems during labor inspections.

Furthermore, it is important to stress that Cecafe supports since the beginning of 2017, the Coffee Technology Development Center (CETCAF) [Centro de Desenvolvimento Tecnológico do Café – CETCAF]. With the strategic guidelines “Quality and Productivity”, CETCAF has been promoting coffee production development in the state of Espírito Santo, covering technological aspects, productivity, producers’ quality of life, and sustainability for individuals of the coffee chain.

Cecafe will continue to develop its activities towards bringing knowledge to farmers through digital inclusion, search for productivity, quality and income, gender equity, entrepreneurship and family succession, training them for them to overcome challenges and guarantee an increasingly more sustainable coffee crop.


Marcos Matos – Chief Executive Officer – CECAFE