from the correspondent Antonello Monardo *
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Wagner Rossi, signed a measure that delineates a series of criteria to ensure quality of coffee for the end consumer. The new regulations will be applied to roasted coffee in both bean and ground forms.
The measure, which will go into effect in nine months, has already been published in the Official Register. It will determine the requisites that will define the maximum percentage of impurities, setting the basic sensory standards for coffee, the second most consumed beverage in the country, second only to the water.
The coffee that is produced in Brazil, or imported into the country, can have a maximum impurity level of one percent. The humidity in the roasted and ground coffee cannot exceed five percent. Other specifications in the regulation have also been set, including the criteria for the coffee’s sensory characteristics at aromatic and taste levels, the definition of the acidity, bitterness and astringency, as well as the body of the coffee.
An expert accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture, who is either a technician or an agronomist specialized in coffee, will be entrusted with the sensory evaluation. The test will be carried out in a firm accredited by the Ministry.
"I consider the measure a milestone in the national coffee production," the Minister said. "It is a form of respect to the Brazilians who are accustomed to drinking and appreciating coffee." According to the Ministry, the regulation will also increase its market value which has been growing, on average, by 5% a year, making Brazil the second largest consumer of coffee in the world.
The new legislation has been approved after three years of work by government representatives and members of the private sector, such as the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association.
* Antonello Monardo is living in Brasilia since 1992 and he his delegate of the Italian Brazilian chamber of commerce and industry. Working for café gourmet and special, he won the gold medal at the International Coffee Tasting 2008. He works on and manages classes for barmen and barwomen, he takes part to conferences and events in universities, spreading the culture of the quality coffee.