Robert Rice organized a workshop in the Chanchamayo coffee region and gave a presentation in Lima at the Peruvian Office of Export Promotions on the relationship between "Bird Friendly" coffee and biodiversity preservation.
The workshop was held on the farm of the Marn family, brothers who have joined their properties for better management practices geared toward conservation and capturing the environmentally-oriented market.
Participants at the workshop included more than 30 individuals, representing organic coffee producers (mainly from cooperatives) hailing from all of Peru's coffee regions.
Lasting for two full days in this beautiful setting at some 1,200 meters above sea level, the workshop sought to expose the technical staff of coffee cooperatives and others (like organic inspectors, extensionists, and agronomists working in coffee) to the concept of shade coffee.
Specifically, the training featured the criteria involved in "Bird Friendly" coffee.
Rice explained the importance of shaded systems to overall biodiversity maintenance and how it relates to conservation.
Part theory (classroom-like presentation) and part practice (field practica in which the participants tested their newly-learned knowledge and skills), the workshop helped to spread the word about the importance of shade coffee and its potential in helping small growers realize better price premiums for their organic "Bird Friendly" coffees.
The presentation in Lima, organized by the organization Prompex, brought some 50 to 60 people together to hear firsthand from Rice as well as some cooperative representatives about various aspects of "Bird Friendly" coffee both in the field and in the market place.
In attendance were organic certification agency staff, reporters, university staff, cooperative leaders, development workers, and a host of coffee producers.