Our first “Forest Coffees” will arrive in few weeks now in Europe ! Jacques introduces this singular approach to you and exposes what those coffees certified to the consumers.
A new Belco’s venture
Our new venture is the result of a 10-year long reflection based on our sourcing work carried out in the west and south-west of Ethiopia. During our dealings with Ethiopian farmers, we realised that they were the inheritors and actors in an original and complex agro-forestry system where nature goes beyond the simple notion of growing coffee under shade.
We were struck by the setting of this farming system: Ethiopian primary forests at altitude. Then, over time we observed that it had been worked on by men and women who brought these terroirs to life. In reality, we were dealing with a highly elaborate system that was heir to several centuries of farming practices respectful of the biodiversity of Ethiopian forests.
In this way, through the promotion of coffee agro-forestry, we aim to showcase the everyday work – often dating back over a hundred years – of the farmers who make a living from and live with coffee, whilst respecting the natural habitat of the arabica coffee plants.
The aims of our Forest coffees project are:
- Promote agriculture which has inherited ancient know-how (intangible heritage),
- Preserve high altitude rainforests in Ethiopia and around the world (botanical heritage),
- Diversify revenue streams for farmers (honey, spices etc…),
- Preserve and promote the diversity of coffees and therefore the diversity of craft roasting.
What is a Forest Coffee ?
Much more than just a coffee grown under shade, forest coffees guarantee:
- A high level of biodiversity
- 40-50% shade minimum
- 10 different local tree species minimum (presented in detail in the herbarium)
- Only wild mountain forests or agro-forestry (semi-forest) origins
Accurate and comprehensive traceability
- Cartography and precise GPS location of the plot
- Name of producer
- Accurate description of the growing system,
- A score over 80 (using Q Cupping standards), with the profile made by a Q grader.
- Altitude between 1000 and 3000m.
Jacques, for the Belco team