Coffee: Is your brand bird friendly?

Day 126 – I am not a coffee drinker, but I do like birds. I have really gotten into bird photography in the last couple years. I never thought I would actively seek out birds to photograph, but I have found it rather enjoyable and challenging. So, when I came across an article about bird friendly coffee, I was intrigued. I had not given much thought about coffee having a negative impact on birds.

“More than 2.5 million acres of rainforest in Central America alone have been destroyed to grow coffee, which has severely reduced the diversity of birds, animals and plants living in these areas. Further, even when rainforests were not destroyed, millions of acres were degraded by applications of harmful pesticides and fertilizers intended to increase coffee production but poison the environment.”Forbes

This reduction in bird diversity became very evident when the study came out that North America lost 3 billion birds in less than 50 years.

Coffee sold today is mostly grown under sunny conditions, with little to no shade. No shade means no trees. ““As a result, many birds cannot find suitable habitats and are left with poor prospects of surviving migration and successfully breeding”, said Amanda Rodewald, senior director of the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Not only is habitat loss an issue, but pesticide and fertilizer pollution is taking its toll on the bird populations. Thankfully, the conservation scientists at the Smithsonian created a strict agricultural certification criteria for coffee.

“Bird-Friendly certification requires that coffee is organic and that it meets strict requirements for both mature canopy cover and the type of forest in which the coffee is grown. Bird-Friendly coffees are guaranteed to support bird habitat, in addition to fair and stable prices for coffee producers, healthy environments for local communities, and equal access to markets for Bird-Friendly coffee producers.” – Forbes

Check out a list of 10 bird friendly coffees, HERE. And always be on the lookout for the Bird Friendly logo.

Tomorrow, you can’t wish away your waste.