Organic Shade Grown Coffee Brands

Shade-grown coffee comes from coffee plants grown under a tree canopy. Coffee growers plant both coffee and a variety of shade trees. This is a sustainable agricultural practice resulting in high quality organic coffee. Shade trees attract birds and are the cornerstone of a healthy habitat. Some coffee farmers plant plantain and other trees which produce fruits to harvest so they grow more than one crop on their land. There are numerous organic shade grown organic coffee brands. However, many of these types of healthy organic coffee may be hard to find. In general, when looking for organic coffee one looks for evidence of USDA certification. However, USDA certification does not guarantee that your coffee is one of the any organic shade grown coffee brands. Rather you may wish to look for UTZ certified coffee or coffee certified by the Rain Forest Alliance. Both of these organizations encourage a broader approach to growing organic coffee and commonly help promote organic shade grown coffee brands that their clients produce.

UTZ Certified Organic Coffee

The long term goals of UTZ are good agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions, abolishment of child labor, and environmental protection. A UTZ grower learns to do the following and then continues to do what is needed.

  • Reduce and prevent soil erosion
  • Keep records of fertilizer and chemical use and use these products responsibly
  • Follow good farming practices including integrated pest management
  • Avoid deforestation
  • Protect water sources, native and endangered species
  • Use native fauna for shade grown coffee
  • Train workers properly in their own language
  • Implement and follow through on health and safety requirements
  • Teach and require good hygiene

UTZ follows coffee from planting to the roaster, carries out yearly inspections and promotes the organic shade grown coffee brands of its clients.

Rain Forest Alliance

An alternative to organic coffee certification is for a grower to be Rainforest Alliance certified. The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization that works to conserve biodiversity. It does so for agricultural products by influencing consumers to buy what is good for the environment and good for small farmers. Rainforest Alliance certified means that the coffee that you buy was produced using good land use practices. Rainforest Alliance certified coffee is part of a broader sustainable agriculture program of  tropical crops, including coffee, bananas, cocoa, oranges, cut flowers, ferns, and tea. Certified coffee farms meet a strict set of environmental standards that include preservation of the ecosystem and reduction in use of synthetic chemicals of all sorts. Like UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance helps its clients promote their organic shade grown coffee brands.

Finding Organic Shade Grown Coffee Brands

Two good places to start when searching for organic shade grown coffee brands are the web sites of UTZ and the Rain Forest Alliance.

Rain Forest Alliance:


Specific sellers of organic shade grown coffee brands include the following:

Coffee Tree:

Tree Frog Coffees:

Rain Forest Certified Coffees: available on

Audubon Coffee Club: various coffees

And, if you are looking for small growers, out of the way organic shade grown coffee brands from Panama or Colombia feel free to contact us at Buy Organic Coffee for help with a couple more organic shade grown coffee brands.

Leave a Reply