What is shade grown agriculture?

Shade grown agriculture works by inter-mixing a crop with shade-giving trees. When used in conjunction with cacao or coffee production, a natural shade canopy becomes an integral part of both protecting species living in cacao or coffee producing areas, as well as ensuring healthy soil. The shade canopy creates a bird habitat that provides a natural form of pest protection and the decomposing foliage from the shade producing trees provides fertilizer for the cocoa or coffee crops.