Eco-Friendly Coffee Process

It is true that different types of coffee can require different conditions (i.e. sun, altitude, moisture, temperature). Most large coffee plantations - which sell to the large coffee corporations - are in open fields, where the trees are easily accessible. But rather than clearing the land for coffee trees, we require that all Café Fair eco-friendly coffee is grown on trees within the existing forest's canopy.

Here is why:

Growing in the Forest Canopy Supports Organic Farming Practices

Organic coffee farmers view the entire farm as one ecosystem, focusing on recycling, composting, and soil health, strictly avoiding the use of synthetic herbicides and dangerous pesticides. Because coffee trees grow well in shade, they work hand-in-hand with healthy, organic, eco-friendly coffee farming practices.



The soil of open-field coffee plantations are subject to erosion and deterioration. Coffee trees - especially young shrubs - do not have a root system extensive enough to sustain the soil against excessive wind and water erosion. The tree canopy created by shade grown coffee brands provides a natural protection against soil erosion, protecting both the soil and the fragile root system of the coffee shrubs.

Insect Pest Control

The are a variety of insects which can devastate a tree plantation in no time, destroying not only that year's harvest, but the trees themselves. The canopy created by shade grown coffee brands supports a wide range of bird species which eat these insects and naturally control this dangerous pest threat.

Supports Migratory Bird Populations

As mentioned, birds help control natural insect pests. But due to deforestation in much of Latin America and the Caribbean, bird populations have been devastated by the destruction of their habitats.

Resident and migratory birds have become more dependent upon the eco-friendly coffee farms in these regions for food and shelter. Buying from shade grown coffee brands promotes biodiversity and encourages the maintenance of these increasingly important habitats.

Provides Longer Crop Yields

A coffee tree takes about 5 years before it will yield a crop (about a pound of coffee per tree annually). A typical tree will last about 15 years. Shade grown trees, however, will have a significantly longer lifespan, yielding crops for up to twice as long as sun-grown trees.