WHY YOU SHOULD
You hear the term bird-friendly and of course, it sounds good– but what does that really mean and why should it be important to you?
In nature, biodiversity is especially important. It is hard to remove a part of the natural ecosystem without creating a problem.
Several years ago, we heard a lot about this with bees. Bees were disappearing and if we did not do something about it eventually, we would be depleted of food and oxygen.
Well birds – and many other species of wildlife contribute to our air cleaning oxygen giving plants and the production of food. It is hard to take any one piece out of the equation.
In the 1970’s the practice of “sun-grown” coffee became popular as a means of producing more coffee in less space, less time, and less labor.
This also required the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as the coffee was no longer nourished by the decomposing leaves of trees or protected by birds and other wildlife that eat the pests that like to eat the coffee trees. Coffee actually became one of the most heavily sprayed crops!
Considering how much coffee is consumed daily it became a big source of unhealthy chemicals for humans. (It makes me wonder if the jitters, headaches & stomach troubles people experience aren't actually just the chemicals)
Since 1970 an estimated 3 billion birds have been lost due to this type of deforestation.
Think about these birds that you see in the park or your backyard. Most of these birds fly to Central and South America for the winter. Can you imagine flying thousands of miles to your “winter home” and findingthat it is gone?
The Smithsonian created a special certification for farms that ensure a certain amount of foliage cover, tree height, and variety of plant species that provide quality habitats for birds and other wildlife.
This certification goes beyond “shade-grown” with standards that cover everything from tree height to insect biodiversity to protect the wildlife that lives where coffee is grown. Bird-Friendly Certified coffees are also certified organic, meaning they are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, which is better for people and for the planet!
Bird Friendly coffee farmers can sell their coffee at a higher price and they earn additional income from the fruit trees that help provide shade.
Every cup of BirdFriendly coffee purchased rewards these farmers for being good stewards of the environment and encourages them to continue conserving Bird-Friendly habitat.
As a coffee roaster, we support Bird Friendly coffee farms because we feel it is especially important for the longevity of our planet.
We are seeing more farms gain this certification and donate a portion of sales through the Smithsonian to help even more farms be able to achieve this certification.
Audio recordings by Jay McGowan, Matthew D. Medler, Walter A. Thurber, and Wil Hershberger provided by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology