Slavery was not a new institution in the country of Brazil. Prior to the arrival of the African population, indigenous peoples would enslave each other through war and debt collection. However, with the booming sugar plantations, and many new colonies that began to thrive, more and more labor was needed. Indigenous populations were first used, but there was always a need for more hands on the massive plantations. Sugar is a demanding crop, from start to finish, which calls for constant attention to be paid to it.
The thriving Atlantic Slave Trade made it possible for more peoples to be brought to foreign shores for the express purpose of working the large plantations, that were arising in Brazil and other countries. With arrives of new workforces consistently arriving, there were many new ventures that were started, such as cattle ranches, and other venues.
With cheaper labor and slave population, many ventures grew quite large due to the low overhead of a workforce. It is estimated that over 1 million African slaves were brought to Brazil in the years between 1700-1800. That number would significantly expand once coffee became more in demand.