The coffee tree, a shade-loving shrub, flourishes under the canopy of diverse tree species. The tree canopy in shade coffee plantations protects the soil from erosion and provide natural mulch for coffee plants, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and herbicides. A shade-grown environment means that plants and trees are kept or planted around the coffee trees, thereby preserving the natural habitat of birds and insects.
Many coffee-growing countries recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy, balanced eco-system. Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica use trees for natural shade and bird habitats. In Ethiopia, coffee is grown among fruits or vegetables, even in the forest.
Van Houtte® is committed to purchasing the best high quality beans, at the better price. If faced with equivalent quality and price, we will always choose shade-grown coffee.
Furthermore, many certifications such as Fair Trade and Organic promote shade-growing and include its practice in their criteria. Van Houtte® offers a wide portfolio of responsible products such as the blends available in our Signature Collection.