“Twenty years ago, I stumbled across a farm name in Portuguese: Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza. In English, my native tongue, it translated to me as “Environmental Fortress Farm.” There was something incredibly memorable about the bold name for me, and after enjoying some of their coffee, I reached out to begin a working relationship with one Felipe Croce. Felipe is one of those friends of every type of person. He is easy to connect with and open with his trade. The vision he works to espouse in both practice and teaching is vital for the survival of our endangered coffee shrubs.
“Simply put, Felipe is a coffee producer par excellence. He is a leader in farming coffee in nature’s image (regenerative, biodynamic, etc.) and developing a borderline spiritual experience in coffee cultivation. Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, FAF, and Felipe are mighty gemstones proving that Brazil can produce incredible coffees. In a cascading climate collapse, coffee farming must migrate from monocultures to diverse perennial polycultures. My words fall short of capturing the importance of Felipe in this great turn from a culture of extractive measures to a new generative way of growing coffee. He has inspired my work, developing new coffee farms and working with coffee growers. His community-centered approach and commitment to excellence are palpable, sensual, and vibrant. As a result, he has helped his friends and neighbors have their coffee bought by the likes of Blue Bottle, 49th Parallel, Tim Wendleboe, 1000 Faces, Linea, and many other leading specialty roasters. I am attaching a talk he gave to our growers on our you-tube channel.”
Nominated by Benjamin E Myers