Brazil, Land of Cachaça. It’s the Law.

Brazil, Land of Cachaça. It's the Law.

The Brazilian national drink, the
cachaça, has graduated to its own
category. A government
decree presents all the specifications of
the sugar cane liquor and the information will soon be sent to
World Trade Organization. Brazil exports 11 million liters of the
product a year, and wants to
increase it to 40 million.



Brazil took a decisive step towards registering the name
"cachaça" as a national trademark. A decree published on
October 3 presents all the specifications of the beverage and defines the
"caipirinha" (similar to a daiquiri, but with
cachaça, Brazilian sugarcane spirits, instead of rum). The earlier decree was not clear on these points, and Brazil ended up exporting
cachaça as rum or "other distilled beverages."

According to Ricardo da Cunha Cavalcanti Júnior, coordinator of plant inspection in the Ministry of Agriculture,
the Brazilian decision has already been communicated to the World Customs Organization (WCO), and next week a
document will be sent to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He informed that Brazil produces 1.3 billion liters of
cachaça per year, and less than 2 percent are exported, chiefly
to Germany, France, Portugal, Japan, and the United States.

Cachaça, distilled from sugarcane, is a genuinely Brazilian drink which has become the third most consumed
worldwide (behind vodka and soju). Last year 1.3 billion liters were produced (300,000 by artisan stills). Brazil exported 11.1
million liters. It is estimated that within a decade exports should be over 40 million liters.

Cavalcanti Júnior says that Brazil does not desire to stimulate the use of alcoholic beverages, "but to occupy a
market niche for an eminently national product."

Last December, the Brazilian food industry launched a program to stimulate exports, denominated the Central Taste
of Brazil. The goal was to stimulate an increase in the sector’s exports from US$ 10 billion to US$ 13.2 billion, this year,
through strategic planning involving greater professionalization and publicity for national products. The 45 food production
segments include associations of producers of coffee,
cachaça (sugar cane brandy), and meat.

Last year, producers of the firewater of the town of Abaíra, in the northeastern state of Bahia, started to export
cachaça to Germany, France, Great Britain and the United States, with the support of the Bank of Brazil’s International
Business Generation Program.

The bank provides a complete consultation service to launch the alcoholic beverage in foreign markets. Details, such
as the label and alcoholic content, are some of the adaptations being made to ensure the product’s acceptance abroad.
The production of sugarcane in the region of Abaíra generates 2,500 direct jobs and 12,500 indirect ones.


The material for this article was supplied by Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency of the Brazilian
government. Comments are welcome at

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