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Agroforestry: let’s talk regeneration!

How can agroforestry help combat climate change? Why do we believe in it?

What is it?

Planting trees among agricultural crops

Agroforestry covers all agricultural practices where trees coexist with crops and/or livestock on the same land.

It is a mutually beneficial system that increases production, generates multiple sources of income, provides various services and ensures effective management of natural resources: water, soil, biodiversity, and so on.

Explore our agroforestry coffees

Trees that protect

Trees that protect


Trees that produce are a source of additional income to the main crop. Agroforestry generates:



and environmental benefits

for more sustainable agriculture!

Diversified agricultural and forestry production

Agroforestry is a means for farmers to diversify their income (agricultural production, timber and firewood, fodder, fruit, honey, etc.), making them less vulnerable and less dependent on a single crop.

Stronger social ties

In some parts of the world, trees have enormous cultural, medicinal, religious and/or symbolic value. Mutual aid and farm work play an important part in consolidating social ties within these complex ecosystems.

The 3 levels of agroforestry

Why 3 levels? To leverage all types of agroforestry! Many producers grow crops using agroforestry without necessarily having 3 layers of shade and dozens of species of trees, like those producing our Forest Coffees® in Ethiopia. This is why we offer different levels of agroforestry coffee, all beneficial and worthwhile, to ensure we leave no producer out in the cold when promoting this practice.

Level 1


Number of shade species:
At least 2 different species per hectare

At least 70 trees per hectare

Number of tree strata:
Single stratum

Level 2


Number of shade species:
At least 5 different species per hectare

At least 120 trees per hectare (1 tree every 9 metres)

Number of tree strata:
At least 2 strata

Level 3

Forest coffee

Number of shade species:
Over 10 different species per hectare

Types of shade species grown on the plot:
At least 70% native species and less than 30% introduced exotic species

Number of tree strata:
At least 3 strata

Choose your agroforestry coffee

Immerse yourself in our Forest Coffees®

Forest Coffees®

Why a trademark? What are the specifications?

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For 10 years, we have been taking practical action to protect and develop forests through our Forest Coffees® brand

Forest Coffees® are ultra-high-quality coffees grown in well-preserved environments. Our trademark recognizes the know-how of local farmers and their in-depth knowledge of coffee agroforestry techniques. It illustrates the model’s environmental, social and economic merits.

Forest Coffees® are forest-grown coffees free of pesticides and fertilizers and fed by nature. They embody our vision of the coffee industry and our desire to make it as sustainable as possible. It is a virtuous ecosystem that balances the production/conservation equatio.

Don’t forget, coffee is a small shrub native to Ethiopia that, before being produced in full sunshine to increase yield, was grown in the shade of larger trees sheltered from the sun’s rays, which filtered down through the forest canopy. Our aim at Belco is to market and promote the value of coffee in its near-original state.

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A 100% Made in Forest coffee

Our Forest Coffees® benefit fully from permaculture, where each living species contributes to the development of its neighbour. They also demonstrate our strong commitment against the ravages of monoculture: mass deforestation, soil and biodiversity depletion, coffee and water pollution, and so on.

By growing coffee in a native forest, we are keeping it alive. By giving it economic value, we are preventing its destruction. Effectively balancing conservation and production.

  • At least 40-60% shade
  • Over 10 tree species
  • At least 3 tree strata
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Coffee that promotes mixed farming

We have Belco agronomists in the field who work daily alongside local coffee farmers to bring you a powerful product grown using environmentally-friendly techniques, for which we pay producers according to the quality of their crop.

Protected biodiversity produces multiple crops, which can become additional sources of revenue: coffee, honey, spices, fruit, wood, etc.

  • Fairer remuneration
  • 3 crops, 3 sources of revenue (coffee, honey, spices)
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Naturally organic, traceable coffee

Forest Coffees® have nothing in common with conventional coffees, which are industrially processed and bought on a stock market. Forest Coffees® are specialty coffees: organic by nature and sourced directly from the farm, guaranteeing unique transparency and traceability. We can identify each coffee down to the exact plot.

  • Zero pesticides
  • Zero herbicides
  • Zero fungicides
  • Zero synthetic fertilizers
  • More precise traceability
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Quality coffee with a unique profile

Coffee shrubs grow at their own pace and without pesticides in the shade of the canopy.
Cultivated at high altitudes, the cherries ripen slowly before being meticulously selected, then hand-picked.
This gentle farming method infuses the coffee with the forest’s natural wealth, bringing you a unique product.

  • Cherries selectively hand-picked
  • A unique 83+ profile

Tools! Find out more and promote agroforestry through your coffee roasts.

Booklets, posters, herbariums and point-of-sale advertising for leveraging your agroforestry coffees. Ask us for the printed version!

Coffee agroforestry booklet

Coffee agroforestry booklet

A practical and illustrated guide co-authored with the French Association of Agroforestry, giving you everything you need to understand this agricultural system and its benefits.

Producer specifications and portraits

Producer specifications and portraits

What are Forest Coffees? Meet our producers.

A 100% local herbarium!

A 100% local herbarium!

There are over 35 coffee tree species listed in our herbarium. Our Addis Ababa team scoured the forests of southwest Ethiopia to give you an overview of the rich local flora and its benefits.

Map of agroforestry farms

Map of agroforestry farms

To locate Ethiopia’s agroforestry farms

An in-store easel

An in-store easel

To pass the agroforestry message on to your customers.

A fun poster

A fun poster

An engaging illustration explaining all the benefits of agroforestry to your customers

Our Forest Coffees

See all our forest coffees