Good evening, All!
We once again had a great day in Brazil! What an awesome experience we have been having! Warm and mild weather, shining sun, great people, and even greater food have been treating us well this far!! We are staying in Ponte Nova and have been able to enjoy this city to the fullest.
This morning we visited and toured a sugar mill, of which the smell was very close to corn silage (welcome home!). This mill, Jatiboca, was founded in 1920 and is made up of two units. The first unit was the location we were at and the second being in Sao Paulo. The mill was family owned and operated until 1997 when they hired out the administration for the company. A brief introduction to each location is as follows:
Location 1 (The one we visited)- 800,000 million ton crushing capacity, 84% of sugar cane is from their own production land with 16% coming from independent farmers, 1.1million bags of sugar per year (50 kilo bags), 32 million liters of ethanol produced annually which is added to fuel and then sold (not directly to customers) and is 100% manually harvested.
Location 2- 300,000 million ton crushing capacity, 99% of sugar cane is from their own production land with the remainder from independent growers, 100% goes into ethanol resulting in 30 million liters of ethanol annually. 35% mechanical and 65% manual harvesting.
General mill information- Bags of sugar are marketed in 30, 5, 2, and 1 kilo bags and each mill is self- sustaining, meaning bi-products are reused as fertilizer as well as energy for the plant. Jatiboca employs 2,000 people. The company is devoted to environmental sustainability and has set aside a large piece of land which has been exclusively devoted to remaining in natural habitat forever. In order for workers to get minimum wage, they must harvest 3 tons of sugar cane per day with 5.5 tons being the average.