Many Brazilian plantation workers are abandoning their profession in search of better wages in big cities and urban areas. As a result, Brazil’s coffee sector that has found itself in dire need of extra farm hands is turning its sights to a formerly shunned solution – machine harvesters.
As the insufficient number of workers becomes glaringly evident, the costs of labor for Brazil’s coffee farmers is skyrocketing and spending money on mechanized harvesting no longer seems like a prohibitively costly enterprise.
This situation – described by many as “an industrial revolution” – may have surprisingly positive consequences for Brazil. Mechanical harvesting will allow the farmers to increase the acreage and produce more expensive, mild coffees as more of the fruit can be gathered quickly at a specific stage of ripeness to assure a higher quality product.
An estimated 80% of all farms in the country are accessible to machines with only 20% currently using mechanized harvesters, which shows excellent potential for future growth: Brazil expects to produce 25% more coffee beans a decade from now.