Student Page: Shade-Grown Coffee Images
Because it is a shade-loving plant, coffee can grow in harmony with natural ecosystems, underneath the canopy of native trees.
Biologists have shown that certified, forested coffee farms can be bio-rich buffer zones for parks, protect watersheds and serve as wildlife corridors. One certified cooperative in El Salvador holds more than 100 tree species. Sustainable Agriculture Network biologists have spotted members of dozens of species of rare birds, wild cats such as ocelots, postcard-size butterflies, Technicolor frogs, seldom-seen orchids, monkeys and (once) a giant anteater. The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is a guarantee that coffee is grown on farms where forests are protected, rivers, soils and wildlife conserved; workers are treated with respect, paid decent wages, properly equipped and given access to education and medical care.