Coffee – What Does It Have to Do With Bird Conservation and Saving Family Farms? by Bill Wilson, Co-Founder, Birds and Beans Coffee
By simply drinking the right coffee, coffee lovers can help preserve over 250,000 acres of prime tropical habitat and biodiversity, save birds, family farms, workers jobs and the Earth we all share.
Coffee – what does it have to do with bird conservation and saving family farms?
Everything! The Smithsonian’s Birds Friendly ® coffee certification is the world’s first and only scientifically backed shade-grown coffee certification.
Three-quarters of the world's coffee farms destroy forest habitat to grow coffee in the sun and typically use harmful pesticides and fertilizers that poison the environment. When forests disappear, migratory songbirds disappear, too. In order to combat bird species population and habitat loss, Smithsonian scientists created the Bird Friendly certification. Sun coffee single crop plantations are eco-deserts that destroy critical habitat and replace the small family holdings that are natural refuges and the backbone of local rural economies in the coffee lands.
Bird Friendly certified coffee grows on family farms under biodiverse shade that provides habitat for migratory songbirds and other wildlife, sequesters carbon and fights climate change. Certification standards cover everything from canopy height to insect biodiversity to protect the wildlife that lives where coffee is grown. Bird Friendly coffee is also certified organic, meaning it is grown without pesticides, herbicides and toxic artificial fertilizers.
In 2008 Scott Weidensaul, David Pritchard, Madeleine Pengelley, Bridget Stutchbury, Kenn Kaufman, Bill McGonigle and the Wilson family launched the Birds & Beans coffee brand in the US to revitalize the Smithsonian Bird Friendly® shade grown organic coffee certification and bring a truly 'good coffee' back into the United States. The Smithsonian Bird Friendly® certification is independently considered the best guarantee of environmentally sound, sustainably grown coffee farming.
For over 200 years full and partial shade farming was the traditional method of coffee production. However the industry's boom in the last 50 years has resulted in the conversion of traditional shade farms and tropical forests being cleared of trees and understory for industrial agriculture. Full-sun farms elicit a higher yield and require less management creating bigger profits for big business but less income and work for local farmers and farm workers.
For migratory birds and local wildlife the result of these clearances is major habitat loss. Now less than 40% of coffee farms remain in true shade and organic agroforestry. The human cost is that many coffee workers must move to find work and fair wages as this increased demand for coffee has led to lowered standards. But by simply drinking the right coffee, coffee lovers can help preserve over 250,000 acres of prime tropical habitat and biodiversity, save birds, family farms, workers jobs and the Earth we all share.
At Birds & Beans coffee we pay our farmers the top price for coffee so they can keep growing coffee the old-fashioned way and so they can keep supporting their families and workers.
Join the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Bird-Friendly Coffee Club!
Order Shade Grown Coffee online at the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Store (selections below) or download the order form to send a check here. Coffee can also be purchased at monthly Chapter Member and Speaker meetings here.
Wood Thrush (Breakfast Roast)
$13.25 - $75.00
Wood Thrush, Breakfast Roast is a delicate, complex full flavor coffee from some of the best-run farms in Latin America. Coffee is grown 100% ecologically, as it was 100 years ago, protecting nature, with no chemicals, using natural fertilizers and spring water, and under the shade on high altitude. (Sierra de Managua/Carazo Plateau family farms in Nicaragua.)
Choose between whole bean and coffee grind options Coarse, Extra Fine, Fine or Medium Grind. There is no additional charge for grinding.
For fractional package orders: The whole bean option is not available for the pre-measured roast packs. In the check-out process, select the Shipping Method, 'Customer Pick-up'.
Photo: Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) By Hylocichla mustelina.jpg: Steve Maslowski, US Fish and Wildlife Service derivative work: Papa November [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Medium Roast-Viennese)
$13.25 - $75.00
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Medium Roast is grown on model organic farms in Nicaragua.
Choose between whole bean and coffee grind options Course, Fine, orMedium grind. There is no additional charge for grinding. The whole bean option is not available for the pre-measured roast packs.
Photo: Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica) by Jim McCormac.
Scarlet Tanager, French Roast
$13.25 - $75.00
Scarlet Tanager - French Roast. A bold, intense, smooth coffee from co-op farms. Grown by farm families dedicated to providing us with great coffee and their children with a better eco-system. (Depending on harvest cycle from Northern Nicaraguan Highlands or Northeastern Peru in the Andes - Amazon River basin slopes.)
Choose between whole bean and coffee grind options Coarse, Extra Fine, Fine or Medium Grind. There is no additional charge for grinding. The whole bean option is not available for the pre-measured roast packs.
Photo: Scarlett Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Laura Gooch.
American Redstart (Light Roast)
$13.25 - $52.50
American Redstart, Light Roast, smooth and flavorful is the ‘Official Coffee’ of World Migratory Bird Day. (Guatemala). Choose between whole bean and coffee grind options Coarse, Extra Fine, Fine or Medium Grind. There is no additional charge for grinding. The whole bean option is not available for the pre-measured roast packs.
Photo: American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) by David Lewis.
Baltimore Oriole (French Roast Decaf - water process decaffeination)
$14.50 - $75.00
Baltimore Oriole, French Roast DeCaf, is a Smithsonian certified ‘Bird Friendly®’ coffee, which is also USDA Organic and Fair-Trade certified – water process decaffeination. (Honduras)
Choose between whole bean and coffee grind options Coarse, Fine or Medium Grind. There is no additional charge for grinding. The whole bean option is not available for the pre-measured roast packs.
Photo: Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) by Dave Lewis.
WCAS Bird-Friendly Coffee Club Order Form 2020 v2.0
WCAS Bird-Friendly Coffee Club Order Form 2020 v2.0
1 page PDF download
$14.50 - $57.50
Bird Friendly® Coffee found in our newest roast, Kingbird. A wonderful blend of Nicaraguan and Guatemalan coffees - balanced, sweet, somewhat bright with good body, has dominant Mandarin orange on the aroma, with nutty sweet toffee, clean and smooth in the cup. Triple certified, shade grown Smithsonian Bird Friendly/Fair-Trade/USDA Organic. 12oz, 2lb and 5lb bags available.
Photo: Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Tom Fishburn.
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