Sara Lee to Buy Cafe Damasco

“Sara Lee Corp. is buying Brazilian coffee company Cafe Damasco for nearly $60 million as it continues to focus on its more-profitable coffee and meat businesses. The purchase of Cafe Damasco gives Sara Lee a stronger presence in Brazil, particularly in the south where the coffee company has a strong market position, Frank van Oers, CEO of Sara Lee’s international beverage and bakery business, said in a statement.

Sara Lee already has the Pilao and Caboclo coffee brands in the central regions of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Its other Brazilian coffee brands include Cafe do Ponto, Moka, and Seleto.” – Business Week

The best part of waking up is that corporate aroma in your cup

‘Good Luck’ in Brazil, Starbucks…

“Starbucks Corporation has just announced that it is taking control of Starbucks Brazil.  The company has assumed 100% ownership and 100% operating control of Starbucks Brazil through the acquisition of Cafés Sereia do Brasil Participações S.A.  In short, Starbucks is ready to expand into a huge market.

Starbucks noted that the management team currently in place will continue to manage day-to-day business operations to keep a seamless transition.

Converting Brazil to a company-operated business will allows Starbucks to gain access to the largest consumer market in South America.  Whether you choose to use Wikipedia data is up to you, but the Wikis list Brazil as being #17 by coffee consumption per capita at 5.81 kilograms per person. The U.S. was down at #26 at 4.2 kg per year.  The Brazilian population was listed as 193.39 million versus 310 million in the U.S.

When you consider that Starbucks counted some 16,737 stores globally between its licensed stores and company owned stores, this won’t make a huge dent at “more than 20 stores.” It makes growing its Brazilian operations probably much easier.  It also gets it closer to the largest coffee growing market on top of its deep relationships with coffee growers throughout the world.

If you consider how many Starbucks were opened up in the U.S., the notion that Starbucks ran into growth problems won’t matter here. Starbucks first entered Brazil in Sao Paolo in November-2006 with two store openings.” – Source

Stop thinking, please!

“BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The future for Brazil’s mighty farm sector could be grim, with hotter temperatures pushing crops past its borders, uphill into the Andes and toward the tip of South America.

So Brazilian scientists and agronomists are rushing to deter the effects of climate change on the world’s biggest coffee producer and second-ranking soybean grower, a country crucial to the international food supply.

Experts in tropical agriculture are developing genetically modified coffee, soy beans and other crops that can withstand higher temperatures in Brazil’s expanding northeastern desert, new pests and diseases and more flooding in low-lying areas.

This year, the scientists are preparing the first large-scale plantings to test the productivity of new genetically modified soy crops at a climate-controlled research station in the southern state of Parana.” – Source

My Take

It’s important to be weary of certain implicatures in the write-up here. First “could be grim“, meaning it could also not be grim. Next, we should examine the phrase “climate change” (what I like to call ‘the weather’) as you see, ‘global warming‘ got a bad rap after it was realized that the earth goes through natural cooling and warming cycles and furthermore that human causes take up such a dismal percentage (5%) of greenhouse gases (of which CO2 is a mere 1%, and human-caused CO2, less than 1% of that figure). Then we have to deal with yet another implicature when we see the writer use “experts“, meaning our ‘betters’, those who are smart versus we the people who are not. Whats next? There’s more! After all those alarmist words, we have “genetically modified” followed by how it will help us. The last phrase implies its good for us without asking us what we believe…afterall, it doesn’t really matter what we believe because they have “experts” on it! 

Lets all be careful about what we read, how we read it and then watch our words so that we don’t parrot such nonsense at tea-time.

Ciao Italia, Ciao Brasil – Also In PT

Here’s an article I wrote a few years back on Italian immigration to Brazil. (Traduzi lá abaixo) Enjoy!

As you probably know, the Italian word ciao is not only used for “hello” but also for “goodbye.” It is rooted in the Italian word schiavo, or slave, with the inferred meaning of being at the service of another person. Around 1875, droves of northern Italians came to the service of the Brazilian government by filling the gaps, which the abolition of the slave trade brought about in Brazil.

Although the Brazilian slave trade ended in 1850, slaves were in no way lacking due to Brazil’s more than three-hundred year history of legalized servitude. In 1888, the adoption of the Golden Law by the Imperial Princess Regent Isabel, officially ended slavery in Brazil.

During this period of decline, the government anticipated the effect this would have on the economy and thereby made public the need for foreign manpower. The need was soon met by poverty-stricken Italians from the north of Italy when Brazilian ships, offering free passage, docked at their ports.

Italy which became unified in 1871, was still very much a young country and the national identity wasn’t yet formed. The advent of social and economic changes made land ownership in northern Italy a difficult task.

When they began seeing government-sponsored posters showing off Brazil’s beauty, this ultimately made immigrating a pliable alternative. In the mind of the Italian, coffee soon became the “green gold.”

In one sense it was a win-win situation. The Italians were filled with hope of a better life while Brazil began preparing to receive them, albeit at a better price than the cost of importing slaves.

The First Settlement

More than one million Italians within a 20 year period became accustomed to calling Brazil their home. The first wave settled into small and isolated government funded colonies in the Serra Gaúcha region of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. A few years later, they forced the government to create bigger colonies, one of them being the modern day city of Caxias do Sul.

While growing accustomed to the local culture, they infused some of their own too. Most of the Italians spoke their own variety of Italian called Talian, which is similar to Venetian but with a great deal of loanwords. Eventually, they began doing what they knew best, which was grape-growing and wine making. Even today, the Serra Gaúcha region produces some of the best wines in Brazil.

For more than 80 years, the city of Caxias do Sul has reveled in their talent for grape growing with a biennial celebration called the Festa da Uva, or Grapefest. The Festa da Uva doubles as a chance to celebrate Italian heritage and sell unique locally made products. as well as offer wine and cheese tasting events.

The Second Settlement

The next wave of Italians to put down roots in Brazil settled themselves mainly in the southeastern state of São Paulo. The need for manpower was much stronger there, due to the vast hole left in big business by the emancipation of the local workforce. In and around São Paulo, the landowners might have been powerful but coffee was the real king.

Not only did the Italians come at an advantageous price but they were also renowned for their love of coffee. The production of coffee required greater care and maintenance than other cash crops and the Brazilians needed experienced growers. The match seemed made in heaven.

Soon after their arrival in São Paulo, the Italians found themselves taking on the role of the slaves they were replacing. Coffee barons turned greedier and were demanding the same amount of work for a cheaper cost.

As a result of poor working conditions, many rebellions occurred which caused the Italian government to halt the influx of immigrants to Brazil. Eventually the farm workers earned enough to purchase small pieces of land where they would build a house and operate a small farm of their own. Others moved to areas where the job offerings weren’t so scarce.

Italian Influences

The capital city of São Paulo, of the same name as the state, is known by many Brazilians today as the “City of Italians.” because over a quarter of its inhabitants were Italian. According to the Italian Embassy in Brazil, over 25 million Brazilians are of Italian descent, a great majority of them hailing from southern or southeastern Brazil.

A quick look through any Brazilian telephone book will give an idea of how widespread they have become. In the same respect, listening in on a random telephone conversation will expose the myriad of loanwords adopted into the Portuguese language.

Some examples are novela (soap-opera), favorito (favorite), caricatura (caricature), espaguete (spaghetti) and desenho (drawing). If in São Paulo, listen carefully to their accent to notice the Italian influence.

No matter where one travels within Brazil, one is confronted with a true melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. Although Italian-Brazilians only make up a small percentage of the population of Brazil they seem to be all over. People with African, German, Japanese or Portuguese blood also seem to be in every corner. But that is another story.

E agora em português!

Como vocês já sabem provavelmente, a palavra italiana ‘ciao’ não é usada somente para dizer ‘oi’, mas também para dizer ‘tchau’. Tem raízes na palavra italiana ‘schiavo’, ou escravo, com um sentido inferido de ser à vontade de alguém. Cerca do ano 1875, uma turba de italianos do norte vieram ao serviço do governo brasileiro por enchendo as brechas que a abolição da escravidão causou no Brasil.

Mesmo que o tráfico dos escravos terminasse em 1850, os escravos estavam faltando de jeito nenhum devido à história de mais de trezentos anos de servitude legalizado no Brasil. Embora no ano 1888, a adoção da Lei Áurea, pela Princesa Isabel, oficialmente terminou o tráfico dos escravos no Brasil.

Durante este período de declínio, o governo antecipou o efeito que a Lei Áurea teria no economia e desse modo deu publicidade à necessidade para trabalhadores estrangeiros. Essa necessidade foi atingida logo pelos italianos pobres do norte da Itália quando os navios brasileiros, oferecendo uma passagem grátis, acoplaram em seus portos.

O pais da Itália que foi unificado em 1871, era um pais novo e a identidade nacional ainda não foi dada forma. A chegada de mudanças sociais e economias fez a propriedade da terra na Itália do norte, uma tarefa difícil.

Quando eles começaram a ver anuncias patrocinadas pelo governo brasileiro que mostraram a beleza do Brasil, as imagens acabaram mudando as mentes dos imigrantes. Na mente do italiano, o café logo se tornou o “ouro verde”.

Em um sentido, foi uma situação ganha-ganha, ou seja uma que gera um resultado positivo para ambas partes em negociação. Os italianos foram enchidos com a esperança de uma vida melhor enquanto o Brasil começou a preparar-se para recebê-los, só de um preço melhor do que o custo de importar os escravos.

O Primeiro Estabelecimento

Mais do que um milhão dos italianos, dentro de um período de vinte anos, sentiram-se em casa no Brasil. A primeira onda estabeleceu-se nas colônias pequenas e isoladas na região da Serra Gaúcha do estado de Rio Grande do Sul. Poucos anos depois, forçaram o governo criar umas colônias mais grandes, uma delas sendo a cidade moderna de Caxias do Sul.

Enquanto achando-se acostumados com a cultura local, eles infundiram nela um pouco de sua própria cultura também. A maioria dos italianos falaram seu própria variedade de italiano chamado ‘talian’, que é parecido com o dialecto veneziano mas com muitos estrangeirismos. Eventualmente, começaram a fazer o que que eles souberam melhor, cultivando uvas e fazendo vinho delas. Mesmo hoje, a região da Serra Gaúcha produz os melhores vinhos no Brasil.

Por mais de oitenta anos, a cidade de Caxias do Sul tem festejado no seu talento para a cultivação de uvas com uma celebração que ocorre cada dois anos chamada a Festa da Uva. Esta celebração dobra como uma boa oportunidade para comemorar as suas raízes italianas, vender produtos feitos localmente e também oferecer eventos para provar os vinhos.

O Segundo Estabelecimento

A onda seguinte dos italianos para colocar raízes no Brasil estabeleceram-se principalmente no estado do sudeste de São Paulo. A necessidade para trabalhadores estrangeiros era muito mais forte lá, devido ao furo vasto deixou no comércio de café pela emancipação dos escravos. Dentro e ao redor de São Paulo, os proprietários de terras puderam ter sido poderosos, mas o café foi o rei de verdade.

Não somente os italianos vieram em um preço vantajoso mas eram também reconhecidos para seu amor do café. A produção do café requereu um cuidado e uma manutenção mais grandes do que outras colheitas e os brasileiros necessitaram cultivadores experientes. O encontro dos dois pareceu feito no céu.

Logo depois de sua chegada em São Paulo, os italianos encontraram-se no papel dos escravos que substituiam. Os barões do café se tornou mais voraz e eram exijindo a mesma quantidade de trabalho para um custo mais barato.

Em conseqüência das condições de funcionamento pobres, muitas rebeliões ocorreram que fizeram com que o governo italiano parasse o influxo dos immigrantes ao Brasil. Eventualmente os trabalhadores de fazenda ganharam bastantes para comprar partes pequenas de terra onde construiriam uma casa e operariam uma fazenda pequena do seus próprios. Outros se mudaram para as áreas onde as ofertas do trabalho não eram tão escasso.

Influências Italianas

A cidade capital de São Paulo, do mesmo nome como o estado, é conhecida por muitos brasileiros hoje em dia como a “cidade dos italianos” porque mais do que um quarto de seus habitantes era italiano. De acordo com a embaixada italiano no Brasil, cerca de vinte cinco milhão brasileiros vêm da descida italiana, uma grande maioria deles originam do sul ou sudeste do Brasil.

Um olhar rápido pelo qualquer livro telefónico brasileiro dará uma idéia de como popular se tornaram. No mesmo respeito, escutar uma telefonema aleatória exporá a miríade dos estrangeirismos adotados na língua portuguesa.

Alguns exemplos são as palavras ‘novela’, ‘favorito’, ‘caricatura’, ‘espaguete’ e ‘desenho’. Se vocês acham-se em São Paulo, escutar com cuidado seu sotaque para observar a influência italiana.

Não importa onde se viaja dentro do Brasil, se está confrontado com uma mestiçagem verdadeira de etnicidades e de culturas. Embora os italiano-brasileiros componham somente uma porcentagem pequena da população do Brasil, parecem ser em toda parte. O povo com sangue africano, indiano, alemão, japonês ou português parecem também estar em cada canto. Embora essa é uma outra história.

– por Adam Charles