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Cucaú Sugarcane Factory

It was built in 1895 by the Companhia de Melhoramentos em Pernambuco (Improvements in Pernambuco Company).

Cucaú Sugarcane Factory

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Last update: 26/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

It is located in the municipality of Rio Formoso and was set up on the former sugar plantation of the same name, founded by Francisco de Moura before the Dutch invasion.

It was built in 1895 by the Companhia de Melhoramentos em Pernambuco (Improvements in Pernambuco Company).

Many illustrious figures have been shareholders and directors of the Company, among them Manoel Borba and José Rufino Bezerra Cavalcanti, both

Governors of Pernambuco, Arthur de Siqueira Cavalcanti Filho, the Baron of Águas Claras, Oscar Bernardo Carneiro da Cunha, Colonel Júlio de Araújo and João Cardoso Ayres.

Currently the factory belongs to the Armando de Queiroz Monteiro Group and, along with the Laranjeiras sugarcane factory, makes up the Companhia Geral de Melhoramentos em Pernambuco (Improvements in Pernambuco General Company).

The company’s expansion phase began in 1944, when the controlling stake in the factory was acquired by Armando de Queiroz Monteiro, who assumed its presidency, transforming the old factory through modernisation and incorporating other factories, such as Tinoco, Aipibú and Laranjeiras.

The Cucaú sugarcane factory today has 29,733 hectares, with 5,400 hectares of mechanised area. It has 49 plantations in the municipalities of Rio Formoso, Ribeirão, Gameleira and Serinhaém, 36 schools, health services and a housing policy for its workers.

There is a constant concern among its directors with the quality and updating of the equipment, implementing new technologies and automating controls. The first diffuser for extracting syrup installed in Brazil was bought by the company and set up in the Cucaú factory at the end of the 19th Century.

The region where its plantations are located has a lot to do with the ‘quilombos’ of runaway slaves. The plantation house and chapel at the Antas plantation, owned by the factory, have been enshrined as Historical Patrimonies and have a guard from the Cucaú factory.

Recife, 7 August 2003.
(Updated on 9 September 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.

sources consulted

ANDRADE, Manuel Correia de. História das usinas de açúcar de Pernambuco. Recife: FJN. Ed. Massangana, 1989. 114 p. (República, v.1)

GONÇALVES & SILVA, O assucar e o algodão em Pernambuco. Recife: [s.n.], 1929. 90 p.

MOURA, Severino. Senhores de engenho e usineiros, a nobreza de Pernambuco. Recife: Fiam, CEHM, Sindaçúcar, 1998. 320 p. (Tempo municipal, 17).

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Cucaú Sugarcane Factory. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009