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Brazil to Define Official Standard for Its Coffee

Coffee bags from Brazil Brazil's coffee is going to undergo a new process of identification and qualification of grain and of the ground product. A decree published this Tuesday, March 25, by the Secretariat for Agricultural Defense at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture is starting a public consultation regarding technical regulation of the new rules.

The measures to establish an official quality standard take into consideration green and roasted coffee and include decaf. Aroma, fragrance, viscosity and acidity are among the characteristics that may be evaluated.

"The goal is to define the official standard of roasted coffee grains and of roasted and ground coffee grains, with quality and identity requirements, sampling, mode of presentation and marking or labelling, the aspects refer to product classification," explains the text published in the Official Gazette.

Technically based opinions about the project should be sent to the Ministry of Agriculture in up to 60 days.

Per capita consumption of coffee in Brazil reached 74 liters per year in 2007, according to the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association (ABIC). This level is close to that for Germany and Italy, which are among the main consumers in the world. The domestic market answers to 14% of the global demand. The last national crop was 33.7 million bags.

Rose Exports

In another economic front, farmers from the region of Barbacena, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, are celebrating the good results of flower exports. In 2006, foreign sales reached 120,000 dozens of roses, and in 2007, this total rose to 170,000 dozens, which represents an increase of 40% of the hub's exports.

The sales were made to a large distributor in Portugal, who sells the flowers to other European nations. The growth or exports was registered from October 2007 to March 2008, in comparison with the same period in 2006/2007.

"This increase represents the return of Barbacena to the international market," said Felipe Alvim, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) technician in the region. The city has been producing roses since the 1960s. Starting in the 1980s, the city underwent a crisis due to the need for the farmers to pay royalties to the developers of the varieties of plants grown.

Farmers cancelled their exports, which up to then represented the lion's share of revenues, and the domestic market was not enough to consume production.

In 2005, the Minas Gerais state branch of the Sebrae implemented the Floriculture project in Barbacena. The aim was to improve the quality of the products and to diversify and expand consumer markets.

ABr/Sebrae

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