Tamanduá Farm is located in the sertão (the arid back-country, North-Eastern Brazil), in the municipality of Santa Terezinha, close to the town of Patos, in the State of Paraíba, and has belonged to Mocó Agropecuária Ltda. since 1977. It is situated at the 7th Parallel South of the Equator and 400 km from the coast, but in a dry climate.

A pioneer in organic agriculture and dairy cattle raising in the North-East Region of Brazil, Tamanduá Farm covers a total area of 3,073 hectares, with more than 900 hectares of reserves, comprising the legal reserve and the Private Nature Reserve.

Its name is due to the presence of a small mountain ridge or "inselberg", a typically rocky formation, whose name is "Tamanduá", in honor of a medium-sized mammal, the anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), formerly common in the region, but now close to extinction because of hunting.

The word "mocó", which is the origin of the company’s name, Mocó Agropecuária Ltda., comes from the type of long-fiber cotton bush that was grown on the farm from 1977 on. The seed was produced under an agreement with the Agriculture and Food Supply Department of the State of Paraíba, until 1984. That year marked the end of the 1979/84 drought and the arrival of the insect "bicudo" (Anthonomus grandis- Boheman), which put an end to the "white gold" cycle in the North-East of Brazil, making the growing of perennial cotton economically unviable. This caused an economic and social crisis of huge proportions in the region, with the end of the cash crop and the abandonment of vast areas that became unproductive. Up to the present there is no crop to substitute the cotton.

The mocó (kerodon rupestris) is also a small native rodent – the rock cavy – which is close to extinction and which Tamanduá Farm now raises in captivity with the objective of repopulating, with the authorization of the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Resources).

Since 1977, Tamanduá Farm has raised and selected cattle of the brown-swiss breed, one of the world’s oldest breeds, initially with triple aptitude: dairy, beef and traction.

Being rustic, the cattle adapted very well to the harsh climate of the region known as the "drought polygon", producing milk with an excellent protein content, ideal for the manufacture of cheese. Moreover, the wide variety of native grasses and leguminous plants feed the cattle in their natural form both in the rainy season and during the drought, thanks to silage and hay-making, giving the milk varied and incomparable aromas.

In 1997, the production of French cheeses of the types Saint Paulin and Reblochon was begun, and later on, a sort that is typically of the North-East, the Coalho Cheese, under the inspection of the Federal Inspection Service (SIF) of the Ministry of Agriculture.

These same three types of cheese are being manufactured at present.
The French cheeses, which are sophisticated, are matured slowly in special chambers with controlled temperature and humidity before being sold.

In 1990, 27 hectares were planted with grafted mango trees of the varieties Tommy Atkins and Keitt; they are drip-irrigated using the scarce water from the reservoirs. Since 2000, the mangoes have been exported to Europe; they are inspected by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and packed in a packing-house built on the Farm itself, guaranteeing total trackability.

In 1998, Mocó Agropecuária Ltda. decided to follow the path of organic agriculture and cattle raising, according to the norms of the Botucatu Biodynamic Institute, obtaining organic certification for the production of mangoes and of milk and cheese.

Click here for Pierre Landolt's
statement,  Fazenda Tamandua's  owner

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