THE UN-ENDANGERED FOREST

Novo Fogo's Reforestation Project

Once the lungs of the planet, the world’s tropical forests have recently become a source of carbon emissions rather than a carbon sink. We at Novo Fogo live in the heart of a jungle and are deeply concerned about this. This is what we are doing to help reverse this trend.

 

THE UN-ENDANGERED FOREST

Novo Fogo's Reforestation Project

Once the lungs of the planet, the world’s tropical forests have recently become a source of carbon emissions rather than a carbon sink. We at Novo Fogo live in the heart of a jungle and are deeply concerned about this. This is what we are doing to help reverse this trend.

NATIVE AND ENDANGERED TREES PLANTED

SPECIES OF BIRDS REGISTERED

NATIVE AND ENDANGERED TREES PLANTED

SPECIES OF BIRDS REGISTERED

Our friend Emilio has an old mango tree on his property in our town, Morretes. The tree supports dozens of other species of plants and animals living on it: orchids grow near the bottom, bromeliads and pitcher plants are in the middle, and succulents live at the top, closer to the sun. It is a feeding place for birds in the morning and a hangout for lizards and marmoset monkeys during the day. Emilio calls it “The Tree of Life.” That’s right: a tree is more than just wood and leaves, it is the heart of a community of living species known as a forest.

Our friend Emilio has an old mango tree on his property in our town, Morretes. The tree supports dozens of other species of plants and animals living on it: orchids grow near the bottom, bromeliads and pitcher plants are in the middle, and succulents live at the top, closer to the sun. It is a feeding place for birds in the morning and a hangout for lizards and marmoset monkeys during the day. Emilio calls it “The Tree of Life.” That’s right: a tree is more than just wood and leaves, it is the heart of a community of living species known as a forest.

But a dead forest emits carbon, either as it burns or decomposes, and this is happening a lot these days. In late 2017, the world got some bad news: due to the accelerated loss of trees, the planet’s tropical forests have become a pollutant, contributing 10% of the global carbon emissions.

But a dead forest emits carbon, either as it burns or decomposes, and this is happening a lot these days. In late 2017, the world got some bad news: due to the accelerated loss of trees, the planet’s tropical forests have become a pollutant, contributing 10% of the global carbon emissions.

This horrible news hit us hard in Morretes. Our beloved Atlantic Rainforest, which runs along the coast from the north of Brazil to the south, has already lost 85% of its land mass over time. Although this forest is federally protected, during 2015 alone the Atlantic Rainforest lost 72,000 acres of land mass, equal to five Manhattan Islands and a 60% increase over the previous year.

This horrible news hit us hard in Morretes. Our beloved Atlantic Rainforest, which runs along the coast from the north of Brazil to the south, has already lost 85% of its land mass over time. Although this forest is federally protected, during 2015 alone the Atlantic Rainforest lost 72,000 acres of land mass, equal to five Manhattan Islands and a 60% increase over the previous year.

These issues get really personal for us. In our ecosystem, we depend on the forest to clean the air so our sugarcane tastes like banana, passionfruit, lime, and sea salt. We depend on the birds to eat the insects in our cane fields, so we can avoid using insecticides. We depend on consistency in our microclimate, so we can harvest our cane annually. If this balance breaks down, so will our business and the livelihoods of our team members and their families.

These issues get really personal for us. In our ecosystem, we depend on the forest to clean the air so our sugarcane tastes like banana, passionfruit, lime, and sea salt. We depend on the birds to eat the insects in our cane fields, so we can avoid using insecticides. We depend on consistency in our microclimate, so we can harvest our cane annually. If this balance breaks down, so will our business and the livelihoods of our team members and their families.

Deforestation and forest degradation in Brazil have many human causes: urbanization, ethanol production, cattle grazing, and illegal logging. This last one is really bad: for example, 78% of the wood shipped from the Amazonian state of Pará is illegally felled.

Deforestation and forest degradation in Brazil have many human causes: urbanization, ethanol production, cattle grazing, and illegal logging. This last one is really bad: for example, 78% of the wood shipped from the Amazonian state of Pará is illegally felled.

The cachaça industry is complicit to this problem. More than 300 species of native Brazilian trees are endangered today, including almost all of those used in making barrels for aging cachaça. But perhaps due to lack of information or the demands of an uneducated market, some distillers continue to employ these disappearing woods indiscriminately.

The cachaça industry is complicit to this problem. More than 300 species of native Brazilian trees are endangered today, including almost all of those used in making barrels for aging cachaça. But perhaps due to lack of information or the demands of an uneducated market, some distillers continue to employ these disappearing woods indiscriminately.

Scroll through to see the endangered status of Brazilian trees used for aging cachaça:

Scroll through to see the endangered status of Brazilian trees used for aging cachaça:

We at Novo Fogo use the most sustainable wood choice for aging spirits in the world: American oak. It’s tasty, it’s renewable, it’s affordable, and there is plenty of it. It’s no wonder that about 60% of the cachaças made today are aged in oak. (By the way, we take some credit for this trend, as we pushed it pretty hard over the last 15 years.) Take a look at our oak-aged cachaças here.

We at Novo Fogo use the most sustainable wood choice for aging spirits in the world: American oak. It’s tasty, it’s renewable, it’s affordable, and there is plenty of it. It’s no wonder that about 60% of the cachaças made today are aged in oak. (By the way, we take some credit for this trend, as we pushed it pretty hard over the last 15 years.) Take a look at our oak-aged cachaças here.

We also use some Brazilian woods, because we want to tell their stories. But we limit ourselves to woods that we can source legally and sustainably, such as the two zebrawood barrels we repurposed from an abandoned house on one of our properties. We use these barrels only for short finishes after aging in oak, and we produce only tiny quantities. Check out our Two-Wood expressions here.

We also use some Brazilian woods, because we want to tell their stories. But we limit ourselves to woods that we can source legally and sustainably, such as the two zebrawood barrels we repurposed from an abandoned house on one of our properties. We use these barrels only for short finishes after aging in oak, and we produce only tiny quantities. Check out our Two-Wood expressions here.

But the most important thing that we can do is to prevent our native trees from becoming extinct. Planting trees is nice, but planting endangered trees and creating a habitat for them to thrive and recover is exceptional. It may also have profound benefits for the future. To us, this means that we have to un-endanger the forest.

But the most important thing that we can do is to prevent our native trees from becoming extinct. Planting trees is nice, but planting endangered trees and creating a habitat for them to thrive and recover is exceptional. It may also have profound benefits for the future. To us, this means that we have to un-endanger the forest.

Our solution is local. We partnered with Curt Matherne and Mirian Lovera Silva, owners of the Pousada Graciosa Private Reserve, a 42-acre piece of land near us that was once farmland. Curt and Mirian allowed the rainforest to reclaim this land and chose to protect it forever by registering it as a Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural, i.e. a private reserve.

Our solution is local. We partnered with Curt Matherne and Mirian Lovera Silva, owners of the Pousada Graciosa Private Reserve, a 42-acre piece of land near us that was once farmland. Curt and Mirian allowed the rainforest to reclaim this land and chose to protect it forever by registering it as a Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural, i.e. a private reserve.

Pousada Graciosa

In this private reserve and on our own property, we at Novo Fogo are funding and providing labor for projects to plant native trees (both endangered and un-endangered) and to restore the habitat around them. It is also place where anyone can visit to experience and learn from a healthy rainforest and perhaps plant a tree with their name on it.

In this private reserve and on our own property, we at Novo Fogo are funding and providing labor for projects to plant native trees (both endangered and un-endangered) and to restore the habitat around them. It is also place where anyone can visit to experience and learn from a healthy rainforest and perhaps plant a tree with their name on it.

We have recorded 88 species of birds that have taken refuge in the private reserve. This is one of them, the Seven-Color Tanager, the namesake for one of our spirits.

We have recorded 88 species of birds that have taken refuge in the private reserve. This is one of them, the Seven-Color Tanager, the namesake for one of our spirits.

Anyone can contribute to our forest from a distance by buying and wearing one of these super soft T-shirts. We donate all gross profits from the sales of this shirt directly to the reforestation project, where the money will be used to buy things like seedlings, tools, and signposts that explain the different tree species.

 

Click here to buy yours today.

You can also contribute to our reforestation project by buying one of these super soft T-shirts. We donate all gross profits directly to the reforestation project, where it will be used to buy things like seedlings, tools, and supplies.

Click here to buy yours today.

Can our little project ever make a difference? Of course it can. As the cachaça category is growing its presence all over the world, we have the perfect platform for speaking about these issues. It’s really more than an opportunity, it’s a responsibility, and we believe that positivity spreads. So please help us un-endanger our forest!

Click here to send us a note.

Can our little project ever make a difference? Of course it can. As the cachaça category is growing its presence all over the world, we have the perfect platform for speaking about these issues. It’s really more than an opportunity, it’s a responsibility, and we believe that positivity spreads. So please help us un-endanger our forest!

Click here to send us a note.