This project developed a set of definitions for “shade coffee” for the Mexican context. The mechanism for producing these definitions involved a workshop in which scientifically based information relative to shade coffee was presented and discussed by researchers involved in diverse studies related to coffee.
A total of 14 researchers gathered in Xalapa, Veracruz for three days in February of 1999 (8th–10th) to share information on their respective research efforts, review existing criteria related to “environmental” coffee, and contribute to the defining of a shade coffee for Mexico. Due to time constraints for most participants, the original plan to conduct site visits to coffee areas of Mexico did not occur. The unifying thread of the workshop was shade coffee. However, the goal of fitting shade coffee within the larger aim of sustainable development demanded that shade coffee parameters not be divorced from economic and social concerns of the coffee communities to which they apply. To this end, aside from science-based information related directly to coffee lands and their management, the workshop incorporated representatives from the coffee sector –especially those from small producer cooperatives involved in community development efforts around coffee production. A list of participants appears in this report.