The region of Sao Gotardo or my hometown

Coffee plantation

São Gotardo's official flag with coffee tree

São Gotardo is a small town located in the Midwest of Minas Gerais. Rio Paranaíba, Ibia and Campos Altos are other cities that integrate the region of São Gotardo. We are a microregion inside the Cerrado Mineiro, the only coffee producing region in Brazil that holds a denomination of origin.

In 1973 an ambitious rural settlement project called PADAP - Programa de Assentamento Dirigido do Alto Paranaíba, in English (Alto Paranaiba Guided Settlement Agricultural Program) that involved the Brazilian government, Minas Gerais state and the city of São Gotardo governments in partnership with the Agricultural Cooperative of Cotia set the kick off for farming activities in this unexplored area of Cerrado. This cooperative used to be the largest one in Brazil, formed by Japanese immigrants and Japanese descendants. The entity was responsible for selecting a group of young producers, the pioneers, whose mission was developing agriculture in the region.

A united and strong Nippo-Brazilian community was established in the city of São Gotardo. Until the end of 1990's the pioneers' children attended the Japanese school. We had many cultural and sports activities and meetings in our association. Today we have fewer activities, although we try to keep some Japanese traditions.

After more than 40 years, the region of São Gotardo is nationally well known for the quality of its agricultural production. The main products like carrots, potatoes, and garlic supply many urban centers all over the country. There are also avocado, sugar beet, soybean, corn, wheat and other crops. We say that we are in blessed region that allow us growing many things.
What about Coffee? Coffee is also one of our main products. The region is recognized for producing an excellent coffee due to its climate, soil and altitude conditions that are particularly different if compared to other Cerrado Mineiro areas. The region presents hot days and cool nights, an average cooler temperature throughout the year and altitude that varies from 1.000 to 1.300 meters above sea level. A combination of these factors allow us to do such a farming rotation.

Today the region wants to be a protagonist in specialty coffee production. Proof of that are the consistent results from our producers in several Illy's awards and last year at Cup of Excellence Naturals we had excellent results, considering that it was the first attempt of some producers. Our region had two awarded coffees from Edson Tamekuni and, my father, Niculau Minami