Since 1992, Chiquita Brands International, the company that invented the banana industry, has been gradually reinventing it, one farm at a time. That transformation has been guided by the Rainforest Alliance and its partners in the Sustainable Agriculture Network, a coalition of environmental groups in eight tropical nations.
This report is one part of an analysis of shade coffee as a component of biological corridors in
western El Salvador, part of a USAID-financed project to improve watershed management and
conservation. This report addresses a concern that the costs of gaining coffee-farm certification
would far surpass the monetary benefits of certification, preventing widespread adoption of the
conservation practices required for certification.
Citing some of our work in Guatemala, this report argues that resource management springing from genuine community demand can nurture enterprises that generate considerable income and improve local ecosystems.
The Rainforest Alliance is working to conserve Ethiopia's remaining forests while improving the livelihoods of coffee farmers. We have helped a number of operations like Moredocofe's become certified to the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, ensuring that they harvest, mill and process coffee using socially responsible and environmentally sustainable methods. This has had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of farmers working thousands of acres of land.