Certification making gains on coffee farms


Central American coffee farmers face uncertainties ranging from violent price fluctuations to punishing rain and floods of the type Tropical Storm Stan and Hurricane Beta visited on the region last October. Finca La Cumplida, a 3,986-acre (1,613-ha) cloud-forest coffee farm in this northern Nicaraguan town, is trying to fortify itself against such buffeting by going green. The plantation is one of three Nicaraguan coffee farms that have met the “sustainable agricultural” standards needed to secure environmental certification from the New York-based Rainforest Alliance conservation group. Like some other certification programs, the Rainforest Alliance regimen establishes standards for worker pay, housing, health care and educational opportunity. But it places stronger emphasis on environmental stewardship, requiring producers to practice watershed conservation, reforestation and... [Log in to read more]

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