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Sustainability in Mexico

In Mexico, we work with a range of partners and through a series of initiatives to make our coffee supply chains more sustainable.

The Challenges

Mexico’s high and medium altitude forests close to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans offer perfect conditions to grow mild Arabica beans. As a result, Mexico is one of the world’s top 10 coffee producers, yet the industry faces difficult challenges.

Many coffee plantations are very small, with less than a hectare, and vulnerable to falling prices, leaf rust disease and climate change. Many also have ageing coffee trees, which produce less coffee after 20 years, but which farmers cannot afford to replace.

Faced with declining yields, farmers are compelled to abandon agriculture or grow alternative crops, and coffee supply chains are at risk of collapse.

100 Million Trees Program

LDC has partnered with Starbucks’One Tree for Every Bag‘ program to replace over four million old coffee trees in Mexico’s Oaxaca and Chiapas regions with Marsellesa, a more productive variety that is also resistant to coffee rust fungus.

To date, the program has benefitted more than 7,500 farmers, representing more than 15,400 hectares of coffee production. Before receiving the new trees, farmers are given technical assistance and training in good agricultural practices, to maximize survival rates of the young trees.

Improving Coffee Practices

LDC also partners with Conservation International and the Starbucks Foundation to train farmers in the Oaxaco region on water conservation, soil regeneration, shade management, responsible fertilizer use and sustainable farm management.

Farmers benefit from higher incomes and improved food security. By using shade management systems, they also help to conserve wildlife and protect biodiversity.

LDC and Coffee Cooperatives

LDC works with farming cooperatives in all coffee producing regions to improve conditions across the entire coffee supply chain in Mexico.

To date, our agronomists have shared sustainable farming techniques with approximately 4,000 coffee farmers in the Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz regions.

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