How did you first hear about the farm? Since when do you work there?
In 2004, I heard a colleague of my husband at the university of Lavras talking about NKG Fazenda da Lagoa. I got interested and sent my curriculum to the farm. Since then I am the sustainability manager of Fazenda da Lagoa.
What does it mean to you to work within sustainability?
It is a large area which embraces good agricultural practices of the farm operations and social, safety and environmental aspects. It never becomes routine. Mostly, my job is real teamwork; I work together with many persons of different functions and cultural backgrounds. Training is a big part of my job, and also includes the integration of families who live on the farm. I work in the office but also outdoors, where I accompany operations and monitor compliance to certification standards. Sometimes, I also lay hands on, especially when it comes to environmental monitoring.
What do you like most about your job? Which aspects of sustainability do you find most interesting and Why?
I think it is a very rewarding but also demanding field of activity, which is in constant development and often poses new challenges. E.g. if you look at climate change only: Field management has changed over the years and efficient water-, energy- and residues management got more into focus. Fazenda da Lagoa is well linked to coffee know-how and we host various research projects, also on native fauna and flora. Apart from our social engagement, I am especially interested in forest preservation. Every year we increase our natural green cover in the reserve areas with the planting of native trees. So far, we have planted more than 227,000 seedlings of native trees like Ipê, Pau-Brasil, Jatobá and many others on 105 ha of the farm.
How important are the sustainability efforts of the farm for the region and Why?
As the farm is part of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe and the major employer in the municipality, the farm has a special responsibility. We set high standards, and Fazenda da Lagoa is a model farm for producers and other visitors who come to us to learn about field management and new production techniques.
Also, through our social involvement and trainings we provide opportunities here in the rural region of Santo Antônio do Amparo. Just look at the project of Casa da Criança, where more than 350 community members are taking part and benefitting from activities.