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Discover the Shade-Grown Difference

So, what does it mean when your coffee is shade-grown? It means you made a better choice.

Shade-grown coffee



Sun-grown coffee

Better for the Environment:
When coffee is grown in the shade of the tree canopy, it helps protect an entire ecosystem. Shade-grown farming practices help maintain fertile soil and provide habitat for wildlife living in the rain forest. Preserving rain forest land and supporting farmers is a priority for this Rain Forest Rescue program.

The rain forest is known as the lungs of our earth, and each year millions of acres are being burned and deforested for increased farm production, which includes coffee production. When rain forest land is clear cut, coffee plants grow in the sun. This method increases yield and productivity in the short term, but this intensive method of agriculture ultimately leads to land degradation including soil depletion, loss of plant and animal biodiversity, and frequent landslides.

It’s important for coffee to grow in harmony with the rain forest. When coffee is grown under the shade of trees — the traditional way of growing coffee — the land becomes rich in nutrients and moisture, the soil is more stable, and the coffee production practices are sustainable.

Earth-friendly Arbor Day Coffee helps protect and preserve forests by creating economic incentive for farmers to continue growing coffee under the canopy of the rain forest. The goal is to make the land more valuable with trees than without — ensuring that in the long-term, trees will prevail.

Better for People:
When you purchase Arbor Day Coffee, you are helping to positively change the lives of the coffee farmers and their families who call the rain forest home. The Arbor Day Foundation partners with coffee cooperatives who are on the ground providing quality assurance and technical assistance to farmers. When farmers are free to farm their land with the shade-grown practices they have used for generations — while keeping the farms in their families — it is good for the farmers, their families, and the communities in which they live.

Better Cup of Coffee:
Arbor Day Coffee is grown under the shade of the tree canopy in Central and South America, resulting in a superior-tasting coffee. The natural nutrients from the forest, the higher elevation at which the coffee is grown (1,400–1,600 meters), and the shade protection from the trees all combine to create coffees that are rich and full of flavor.


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