Fazenda São Francisco is situated in the municipality of Patrocinio Paulista, São Paulo state, 12.5 miles from the city of Franca, in the Alta Mogiana region. Nilton Messias de Almeida Junior, a retired court judge who is now a lawyer and has always loved the countryside and coffee, purchased the farm in 1994 and it has been thriving since.
Nilton is the second generation in the business and has been directly involved in coffee cultivation since he was 17 years old, when he was already accompanying the farm’s agronomist in the field. Nilton grew the farm’s production and commercialization with professionalism and constant efforts to create the highest quality through implementing strict harvest and post-harvest standards.
The name São Francisco comes from several of Nilton’s life experiences. First, his father’s name is Francisco; second, he was born near the riverbanks of the São Francisco River; third, he graduated from São Francisco University law school; and, lastly, the family is devoted to Saint Francis of Assisi.
Thanks to its privileged location within the typical topography of Alta Mogiana, the farm is distinguished by the quality of its production practices, which emphasize socio-environmental sustainability. The coffees produced at São Francisco Coffee Farm are UTZ certified. São Francisco Coffee Farm is part of a select group of farms belonging to the Alta Mogiana Specialty Coffee Association. The farm is roughly 500 hectares in total, with around 230 hectares planted in coffee.
The farm has its own warehouse and processing facilities. Natural processing on Fazenda São Francisco starts with the farm’s careful organization and record keeping by plot, date of planting, variety, date of harvest, and quantity. Cherries are harvested mechanically and by hand. Once collected, the cherries pass through a washer to separate less dense fruit and green and designate only the ripe cherries for selective lots.
The cherries are next moved to the drying patio until they reach the right level of humidity to be moved to the mechanical dryer to homogenize the humidity of all the beans at 11.5%. After 30-40 days of rest, the coffees are hulled and sorted by screen size and color to be prepared for shipment. The farm produces around 9,000 bags of coffee annually.
Flowering on Fazenda São Francisco occurs in September and October and the average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.