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What is Bird Friendly and Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee?

Java Planet has a mission to provide the highest quality product that also supports a healthy body, a healthy planet, and ensures that the growers of the coffee are fairly compensated. To that end, all of our coffees are Certified Organic and some have certifications with Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance Certified™, or Bird Friendly® certified.

We are proud to have Rainforest Alliance & Bird Friendly certified coffees and are always looking to support farmers who are protecting the environment & native wildlife.

 

WHAT IS THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE?

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. It works to make responsible business the new normal in order to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them adapt to the climate crisis.

Coffee farms or groups of smallholder farmers that earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal protect biodiversity, deliver financial benefits to farmers, and foster a culture of respect for workers and local communities. 

On Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, coffee grows naturally under the shade of other trees which are the habitat of many forms of wildlife. Some of these are amphibians such as frogs, birds like hummingbirds, and various mammals like the howler monkey.

 

WHAT IS BIRD FRIENDLY COFFEE ALL ABOUT?

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center states that “shade-grown coffee production is the next best thing to a natural forest.” In the past, all coffee was grown in the shade of the trees. Most coffee varieties can’t take a lot of direct sun, thriving under a canopy of trees that shade the coffee plants. The trees act as a protective sunscreen for the coffee and keep the soil moist and fertilized with the mulch created from the fallen leaves.

These trees are part of a complex habitat in which many bird species and other wildlife live. Coffee grown in these conditions is the nearest thing to growing it in a natural forest. The shady fruit trees growing here enable more birds to flourish and they help the coffee plants by keeping the pest population under control so the growing coffee plants can thrive. 

This method of Bird Friendly coffee growing is done by providing a forest-like habitat for birds as opposed to being grown on farms where all the vegetation has been cut down. Tree height, foliage cover, and biodiversity are all taken into consideration to ensure quality habitats for birds and other wildlife. 

The Bird-Friendly program has the purpose of protecting these green habitats from the danger of deforestation. So when you drink Bird-Friendly certified coffee, you’re helping to support the environment for a more sustainable, biodiverse world. 

 

 SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED AND BIRD-FRIENDLY COFFEE?

They are similar in their missions and requirements. Both Rainforest Alliance and Bird-Friendly certifications require at least 40% forest cover. Rainforest Alliance also requires an average of 12 native tree species per hectare. Bird-Friendly requirements include variations in height up to 35 meters for adequate bird habitats. Those requirements protect wildlife habitats.

Part of the Bird-Friendly certification is that the coffee is also organic certified. 

The Rainforest Alliance has human rights requirements.

 

Either certification will allow you to enjoy your cup of coffee knowing you are doing good for our planet!

Colombian Rainforest Alliance Certified and Guatemala Bird-Friendly Certified Coffee

Shop for Colombian and Guatemalan Certified coffee here