"Sustainability means giving a different value to the whole coffee chain: the practices, the source of materials, the work we do at origin."
Q&A with Verônica Belchior
What is your field of expertise?
I’m a researcher, biologist, Q-grader, and instructor of courses on sensory analysis in specialty coffee and coffee chemistry.
I also have a MSc in Ecology, a PhD in Food Science, and currently work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Chemistry at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). I’m also a partner on The Coffee Sensorium project in Brazil.
My job at UFMG involves working with the chemical analytical tools of green and roasted coffee beans, aiming to construct predictive models of the coffee quality subjected to different roasting profiles.
Why did you decide to work with MTPak Coffee?
I decided to work with MTPak Coffee because I think it’s important to keep close to the coffee industry by both learning about new market trends and contributing interesting ideas.
When I was first introduced to the company, I was also excited to find out more about its sustainable vision.
What’s your experience in relation to coffee?
I’ve been working in coffee since 2009, doing everything from roasting and selling to serving and training.
In 2013, I decided to invest in sensory analysis skills and, after completing a Q-grading course, I applied for a PhD in Food Science with a focus on the sensory analysis of coffee.
The results of my PhD were very promising, including helping to develop statistical models to predict the quality of coffees. The results show that we could help the industry with rapid and feasible methods to give scores and measurements for the quality of the beans.
Nowadays, I run The Coffee Sensorium Project together with Dr. Fabiana Carvalho. We have developed a flavour kit for coffee training and offer several courses on coffee science.
What is sustainability in the coffee sector for you and what should the industry focus on?
Sustainability means giving a different value to the whole coffee chain: the practices, the source of materials, the work we do at origin.
So not only is it about making coffee production stronger with good practices and giving back to communities, it’s also about making social inequality as narrow as possible and providing education to the whole industry. Sustainability also involves preserving the environment for future generations.