Integrated Open Canopy™ (IOC™)

Sustainable, Land-Sparing Coffee Farming that Restores Forests

Integrated Open Canopy™, or IOC™ coffee farming, is a system of restorative coffee agriculture that directly contributes to the protection and/or restoration of forest habitat, and is linked with the Yoro Biological Corridor project. IOC™ coffee farms are based on the concept of “land-sparing”, requiring a 1:1 farm-to-forest ratio, which means that 50% of a farmer’s land is coffee farm and the other 50% is conserved and/or restored forest habitat.

This system of farming takes sustainable coffee to the next level by, not only stopping the current overuse of resources, but also restoring forests that have already been used up by human activity. The grower can choose to their amount of sun/shade based on what’s best for their coffee trees; And this tends to be a mix of sun and shade, hence the name “Integrated Open Canopy”. Coffee yields on IOC™ farms are typically higher than on shade farms, which is attributed to the added sunlight and benefits from pollinators and insect-pest control by birds associated with the adjacent forest patches; As well as the fact that farmers are enabled to make any decisions that are best for their coffee plants; Mainly, adding or removing shade from their farms whenever needed.