The history of the Usina São José has to begin from the Sugar Cycle in Pernambuco, in the 17th century. The management talent of the directors on Grupo Cavalcanti Petribu comes from the determination and courage of the family predecessors.
The year is 1710. We are in Brazil, which is still a Portuguese colony. The official and patriarch of the family that would give birth to the Grupo Cavalcanti Petribu, captain João Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, is promoted to the rank of captain-major of Santo Antônio de Tracunhaém by Manoel Alves da Costa, who was governor at the time. He, the owner of the Apuá Mill, and his descendants from Volta do Cipó, Terra Vermelha, Goitá, and Petribu Mills, among others, were living by then one of the golden ages of sugar production, starting their tradition in the sugar-alcohol agribusiness.
Petribu (from an indian word meaning “spring of clear waters”) was a tributary stream of the Capibaribe River in the north of Pernambuco. The word was used to name one of the Mills and on the following century, precisely in 1871, it was adopted by the family, that became Cavalcanti Petribu, which still today owns the Usina São José.
In 1891, Mill owners Joaquim Coelho Leite and José Joaquim Coelho Pereira Leite were granted a permission from the State of Pernambuco to build the Usina Coelho. In 1900, it belonged to the Pontual & Padilha Company. The records show that its first Milling was in 1906. In 1917, the Mill was sold to the Bandeira & Irmãos Company.
In 1946, the business society was reorganized and became Alfredo Bandeira & Cia. In 1952, the owning Company became a joint-stock Company named Usina São José S.A. and was sold to the Companhia de Cimento Portland Poty, owned by the Grupo Votorantim. In 1995, the Mill was bought by the Grupo Petribu.
In 2001, the Company went through a partnership reformulation and adopted the name Cavalcanti Petribu. Today, it is one of the top sugar, ethanol and energy producers in Pernambuco.
Source: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco and the Company’s own records.