One of my fellow Audubon Guides bloggers, Laura Kammermeier, has jumped on the sustainable-coffee bandwagon, and has been encouraging her readers, including those of the American Birding Association blog, to do so as well.
If you landed here at Coffee & Conservation from Laura’s efforts, welcome! There is a lot of information on this site about the complex issue of sustainable coffee production. Here’s a quick guide to some of the areas you might want to start exploring:
- There are quite a few coffee certifications — the gold standard for habitat protection is Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s Bird-Friendly certification. Learn more about the various certifications and what they mean in this quick guide to certifications.
- Certifying farms costs money, which many small coffee farmers can’t afford. Here are other top indicators of sustainably-grown coffee.
- What is shade coffee anyway? And what is the problem with sun-grown coffee?
- What birds use shade coffee, and what’s the science behind the importance of shade coffee to these birds? Check out the posts in this category.
- Don’t drink these brands. The vast majority of their coffee is uncertified and not sustainably-grown.
No excuses. Here’s where you can get certified Bird-Friendly coffee. Yes, it costs a little more (why should we expect farmers in the developing world to help preserve biodiversity and not be willing to pay for it?). But even if you have to pay shipping, it’s still very inexpensive — calculate it yourself right here. If you’re a birder, you probably routinely buy optics, field guides, go on bird trips, or even hop in the car to chase a new bird across the state. How can we not afford cup of coffee that won’t doom the birds we love to see?
For more links to background information, click on the User Guide tab at the top of the page.