Conservation Coffee in Chiapas, Mexico, Conservation International, 2006

    Based on a concept developed by CI, Rainforest Alliance, and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, CI established its first Conservation Coffee project in Chiapas in 1998. The organization called on local groups, including the cooperatives and the Commission for National Protected Areas, to help define and implement best farming practices that would conserve the local environment and the important biodiversity it contains. A major challenge CI faced was the long-standing farming practice of cutting down trees to increase the sunlight crops receive and boost productivity. While beneficial for farmers in the short term, deforestation has substantial environ-mental consequences that can leave fields dry and barren over time.

    To create an incentive for farmers to grow their coffee in the shade, CI teamed up in 2000 with Starbucks, who offered participating farmers a price premium for shade-grown coffee. Starbucks then created the brand 'Shade Grown Mexico' for the coffee it buys from these farmers.

    On the right hand side is a case study on the project from 2005, a brief summary of the project and a presentation given by Edward Millard in January 2006 about the project. Most of the pictures have been taken out of the presentation to lower the file size. The full presentation can be found here.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Impact Assessment
    »Sustainability and Financial Independence Analysis of the Conservation Coffee Project in Chiapas, Mexico, 2003, H. Haase