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Agriculture and Fisheries
Conservation Principles for Coffee Production

Brazil, Central America, the Andes, East Africa and Southeast Asia are the world's major coffee growing regions and also harbor some of the richest regions of biological diversity. To date, some 25 million acres of rain forest have been converted to coffee plantations.

A process convened by the Consumer's Choice Council, the Rainforest Alliance, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and CI has developed the Conservation Principles for Coffee Production. These Principles, developed in consultation with coffee growers, importers, roasters, retailers and conservationists, serve as a common framework for both companies and farmers seeking to integrate biodiversity conservation and social standards into their businesses.

The Conservation Principles focus on seven areas of concern in coffee production: ecosystem and wildlife conservation; soil conservation; water conservation and protection; energy conservation; waste management; pest and disease management; and sustainable livelihoods for farmers. In each area, the Principles outline conditions and practices that apply to farms and processing facilities in most coffee-growing regions of the world and provide a foundation for conservation-based certification programs. They are also intended as a point of reference for the development of industry sourcing guidelines and codes of conduct, changes in government or financial sector policy to encourage sustainable agriculture, and modernization of technical assistance programs.

CI and the Colombian Coffee Federation, the world's largest coffee producer representing 500,000 farmers, drew heavily upon the Principles, to produce the Conservation Guidelines for Coffee Production in Colombia.

Starbucks' Coffee & Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices Program Launched: Developed in partnership with Conservation International, Starbucks officially launched a set of environmentally, socially and economically responsible coffee buying guidelines designed to build long-term relationships with suppliers of high quality coffee who demonstrate excellent performance on sustainability criteria addressing issues such as healthy workplace conditions and conservation of natural ecosystems. The C.A.F.E. Practices Evaluation guidelines comprise 26 criteria covering environmental and social performance in the growing and processing of coffee. The Conservation Principles for Coffee Production were a key document in helping to form Starbucks guidelines.
C.A.F.E. Practices Program Documents

Released the Conservation Principles for Coffee Production: In May 2001, Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center released the Conservation Principles for Coffee Production, for use by producers and companies to create environmental and social standards for coffee production.


© CI, Sterling Zumbrunn
Coffee Beans


Consumer's Choice Council
Rainforest Alliance
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Conservation Principles for Coffee Production (pdf, 74kb)
Coffee & Hotspots Map (pdf, 380kb)

 Photo credits for banner image: (Fields) © CI