Açoriano Oriental
Government wants to enhance coffee's potential in the region

A protocol aimed at strengthening the development of coffee production in the region was signed by the Regional Government, Delta Cafés and APAC

Autor: Rafael Dutra/Nuno Martins Neves

The Azores Regional Government, Delta Cafés and the Association of Azorean Coffee Producers (APAC) signed an eight-year cooperation protocol for experimenting with new varieties, with the aim of strengthening the development of coffee production in the region and enhancing its potential.

This protocol continues a partnership established between the three entities in 2019, and "reflected  an investment in the training and qualification of coffee growers in the Azores", in the context of "understanding the type of coffee best suited to the Azorean climate", said Rui Miguel Nabeiro, Delta's CEO.

Delta's CEO also said that with this eight-year protocol, divided into seven phases, "another important step in the history" of coffee production in the Azores is being taken. And he guarantees that Delta's commitment to maintaining and reinforcing "ongoing support for the community of coffee producers" will continue, as will its contribution to "creating social, environmental and economic value".

"We are going to experiment with new varieties of coffee in the region, adding value to local production," he said, also stating that "a strategic project group will be set up which will be fundamental in coordinating the various projects on the ground."

For his part, the president of APAC, Luís Espínola, recalls that so far only two varieties of coffee have been used in the region. Despite "being well adapted to our volcanic soils", there are other constraints such as intense winds, temperature and humidity, which end up bringing "some challenges to our profitability".

Therefore, Luís Espínola would like this study, and the experimentation that will take place, to find out which are the "best [coffee] varieties for our region", with the aim of "optimizing production, without ever losing the uniqueness and quality of our product".

José Manuel Bolieiro praised the "pioneering spirit" of the Azorean producers, the "productive capacity" and the "courage" of everyone involved in this process.

The President of the Regional Government also stated that the valorization of Azorean coffee will not be done through quantity, but based on "quality, distinction, differentiation and added value".

In this sense, Bolieiro reinforced the importance of the field of experimentation in relation to the present and future of coffee production, saying that the Azores can be laboratories of the future.

"The development of the present and the future in the Azores' strategy is based on innovation, but innovation resulting from research, knowledge, new technologies and our laboratory status”.

Delta Açores launched Impossible Coffee, the first totally Portuguese coffee, from the Azores, on October 8th of this year.

The region also has small coffee producers, which were on display at the signing of the protocol, such as Coffee Cabana, from Terceira, coffee from Fajã dos Vimes, from São Jorge, and Rifte coffee, from Flores.

For Luís Espínola, president of APAC, which has more than 70 members on eight Azorean islands, it is in these coffee brands and others that will emerge "that the present and future of the coffee economy in the Azores lies," he said.

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