Being born in the first coffee exporting country in the world and being the fourth generation of a family with almost 100 years working in coffee could make you feel like you couldn’t contribute too much, that you must find a way to be content with perpetuating the business as it is. But if you are real game changer, you could never settle for this.
For most of the young in the countryside, the big city is the dream, to live a sophisticated life there and to be successful. But for some this feels a bit empty. For Yuki Minami, not doing anything to make the world a better place is not an option. Early on, Yuki had an epiphany. Her passion for coffee could be the engine that drives change in the world. With this realization, she began doing wonderful things, not only for the coffee industry, but for her community as well. Yuki has become one of the forerunners in Brazil’s specialty coffee industry, a forerunner in a country that produces more coffee than any other in the world.
Her story begins almost 100 years ago, in 1927, when Yuki’s great-grandparents came to Brazil from Japan and began working on coffee farms. In 1975, Niculau, Yuki’s father, arrived in Alto Paranaiba in the Cerrado Mineiro, and acquired the Fazenda Olhos d’Água. Yuki grew up surrounded by coffee plantations but like any young girl with dreams, she studied at university with the intent of carving out success as a professional. As such, after university, she worked in marketing for multinational companies in São Paulo.
In August 2015 something wonderful happened. A specialty coffee roaster and Q-grader cupped the Minami family’s coffee and gave it a score of 86 on the SCAA scale. The family could not believe it. At this point they realized the potential of the region’s coffee.
To eliminate intermediaries, they sold their coffee directly to coffee shops in São Paulo. In May 2016 they exported a container loaded with specialty coffee to an importer in Europe. That same year they were Cup of Excellence National Winner in Naturals category. After these achievements, Yuki saw an opportunity to do the same other producers in our region. Aequitas Coffee Exporters was born. Yuki spearheaded what has become an amazing innovation-driven boom for coffee in Minas Gerais. By recruiting and partnering with other farmers in her community to form Aqquitas Coffee, she has created more than an export company. By working together they have created a collective of specialty coffee farmers devoted to quality, transparency, and fairness. By the way, Aequitas was the Roman goddess of fair dealing and honest measure.
Environmental and social awareness are also a priority for Yuki. At the family farm they adhere to coffee traceability. In addition, 100% of coffee on the farm is processed using natural methods that don’t result in the production of residual waste water, which is harmful to the environment. They also have a program for selective waste separation.
We are very proud to bring you Yuki’s coffee, to tell her story and show the world the value of this young game changer, an amazing person who was never intimidated by the great challenge of standing out from the work done by four generations for almost 100 years.