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Championing Sustainable Coffee in the Philippines

Organic Agroforestry Coffee
Learn, Farm, and Brew with us!

14-17 November 2023 I 9:00 AM – 5:00PM Philippines time, La Trinidad, Benguet

Naturland in the Philippines in collaboration with Philippines Coffee Board Inc., ECHOsi foundation, the Benguet State University and Farms to Cup Benguet are launching the first joint training on Organic Agroforestry Coffee.

About the training

The 4-day training, led by experts in the coffee sector from the Philippines and Germany, will focus on different technical aspects related to agroforestry systems in coffee production. These include:

  • Maintaining or reintroducing canopy cover within the production system.
  • Managing the intercropping of annual crops and trees.
  • Identifying the best-suited local shade species.
  • Practical training on organic compost and fertilizers.
  • Organic pest and disease management.
  • Showcasing examples of agroforestry systems from around the world.
  • Establishing tree nurseries.
  • Post-harvesting, processing, roasting, marketing, and brewing.

The training venue

  • ACCOMMODATION: All participants will be accommodated at the Farm to Cup Benguet Camp, Philippine Nazarene College, Pico Road, La Trinidad.
  • FOOD: Tasty locally prepared organic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be also provided to all participants.
  • VENUE: The training will take place at the coffee research farm of Benguet State University, la Trinidad, with a one-day excursion and field training at the Mudaan ni Pamilja coffee farm.

IMPORTANT! We request all participants to come to the venue of the training on Monday evening, the 13th of November where a welcome dinner will be organized.


To register, please fill in this form.
or contact Sir. Rodham Bandao: Tel. +639481028559

Deadline for registration: 31st October 2023

About the Organizers

Naturland is one of the major international associations for organic agriculture worldwide. Naturland membership comprises 125,000 producers worldwide. They are farmers, beekeepers, aquaculture practitioners, and fishers in over 60 countries who produce food by Naturland internationally recognized standards. Organic, social, and fair: these three pillars of sustainability are the foundation of Naturland’s holistic approach.

The Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI) is a private sector-led group established in May 2002 as the National Coffee Development Board. The goal of the PCBI is to develop and promote the Philippine coffee industry through technical assistance and credit programs for coffee farms; and through marketing and promotion of coffee for domestic and export markets. Research/training, certification, and credit programs are carried out in partnership with government agencies, cooperatives, foundations, and NGOs, as well as regional and international partner organizations.

ECHOsi Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization focused on enabling community eco-systems to address sustainability issues that impact the environment, sustainable livelihood, and the empowerment of women’s groups, marginalized groups, and cultural communities.

Benguet State University – Institute Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry aims to be a center of excellence in promoting sustainable Agroforestry, Biodiversity, Eco-tourism, and other Farming Systems in the highlands. It is more known as a training hub for the coffee sector from production to post-harvest processing. It also has an extensive coffee farm under the pines and has been a model since for agroforestry-based plantations.

Farm to Cup Benguet is a Coffee Production Program that advocates agroforestry and food forest establishment in sync with coffee farming. It is also a learning and skills training program in partnership with TESDA and other government agencies and is engaged in coffee farm establishment and management activities [coffee direct program]. Established in August 2020, the program carries the following 5S core principles: Suitability, Sustainability, Scholarship, Self-sufficiency, and Service. 

Summary of the program

Day 1Overview of Agroforestry systems for coffee production
Day 2 From Farm to Cup: post-harvest, processing, marketing, and brewing.
Day 3How to design and manage a productive and resilient agroforestry system for coffee production and income diversification.
Day 4 Organic soil fertilization, pests, and disease management

  About the speakers 

Why upscaling the adoption of agroforestry systems in coffee production?

Coffee is one of the most important tropical agricultural commodities worldwide and is among the most traded. In its wild form, coffee especially arabica varieties—is a shrub that grows in the forest understory. This is why agroforestry systems for coffee plantations are considered one of the most effective methods to achieve maximal agricultural yield on limited land while ensuring adaptation to climate change and improved food security.

Agroforestry systems benefit crops by reducing pests and diseases, enhancing soil fertility, and preventing soil erosion. Trees contribute leaf litter and root mass, providing natural fertilization to the soil, maintaining a proper humus balance, and reducing evaporative losses from the soil they cover.

Furthermore, agroforestry systems play a crucial role in ensuring food security. In addition to coffee harvesting, farmers also enjoy a diverse range of other crops, including bananas, citrus, avocado, medicinal plants, firewood, and timber. The introduction of various tree species and cover crops (such as soya, mung beans, and pumpkins) for consumption and sale not only provides farmers with a diversified nutritional diet but also offers additional sources of income.

Moreover, it is increasingly evident that the productivity of coffee plantations under monocropping conditions in full sun is threatened by climate change, leading to decreased revenues for coffee growers. The use of shade trees offers a positive strategy for climate adaptation. Evidence indicates that proper shading reduces temperature variability, erosion, and excessive solar radiation, while also improving rainwater infiltration, ultimately resulting in a better harvest

In the Cordillera region, the majority of farmers grow coffee under alnos trees, an introduced species from East Asia. Others intercrop banana and caliandra shrubs. Although alnos is a good shade for coffee as it is nitrogen fixing, it does not contribute to biodiversity restoration, being a non-native species. Farmers have also reported diminished water supply and easily eroded slopes due to alnos prevalence. Thus, it is crucial to integrate native species that can provide the same or better benefits than alnos. Although most farmers are aware of the importance of agroforestry coffee farming as they use almost, they are not aware of native species that can be integrated into their farms.

Why go for organic coffee production?

 Organic coffee production becomes imperative as the looming threats of climate change become more evident on the ground. Prices of chemical inputs have also been increasing through the years, draining farmers of resources they need to cope with climate change.

The country has also been losing much of its fertile soil, rendering many farms unproductive. This can have serious consequences in the long run not only for the farmers’ livelihood but the country’s overall food security. Thus, going organic is the way forward. This applies especially to coffee which is one of the Philippines’ high-value crops. On the bright side, consumers and coffee retailers have been increasingly calling for sustainable coffee production. Survey shows that consumers are even willing to pay more for coffee that has been produced organically.



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Editor: Joesie Tumanda

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