About Coffee & Conservation
Coffee is probably one of the most poorly understood food products in the world, especially considering how ubiquitous it is in our lives — Geoff Watts, coffee buyer, Intelligentsia.
The purpose of Coffee & Conservation is to provide information about the connection between coffee and the environment — especially bird habitat.
The huge worldwide surge in demand for coffee has resulted in a shift from traditional, sustainable coffee growing methods (with coffee plants grown in the shade of a diverse understory) to intense monocultures that require large inputs of fertilizer and pesticides which bring about a loss in biodiversity and quickly deplete the land. In the Western Hemisphere, traditional coffee plantations harbor a wide variety of birds, and they are crucial as wintering habitat to dozens of species of birds that breed in North America but winter in the tropics.
Worldwide, habitat destruction is the leading cause of bird population declines. The link between poverty and environmental degradation is inescapable. Making sure that coffee farmers receive a living wage is one way to help preserve habitat — both by encouraging sustainable coffee farming methods that produce the highest quality coffee, and by empowering farmers economically and reducing their need to exploit the environment for survival.
The U.S. is the largest consumer of coffee in the world. Coffee drinkers have the potential to make a huge impact on the environment and economies of coffee growing nations. If we understand the stakes, we can make a significant difference, and enjoy our favorite beverage at the same time!
What you will find here: news, research, and analysis related to coffee growing, biodiversity in coffeelands, and coffee sustainability issues; information about and evaluations of certification; how to find and understand the environmental sustainability of coffee companies, roasters, and individual coffees; reviews of coffees and products with a strong connection to C&C’s mission, and much more! Please see this page for more info on requests for reviews or ads.
What you won’t find here: Gushing, superficial reviews of anything; regurgitated press releases with no background, context, or critical analysis; bullshit in general.
About the Author
C&C is written by Julie Craves, a University of Michigan bird ecologist and coffee lover. My research focuses on migratory birds in North America, and I have traveled to several coffee-producing countries and visited a number of coffee farms. I’m also a contributing editor to BirdWatching Magazine.
You can read more about me and the motivation behind Coffee & Conservation in this interview at the Nature Blog Network.
If you have an item or coffee you’d like the Coffee & Conservation tasting panel to review, or are interested in ad space, please see this page.
If you’d like to ask a question or make suggestion, leave a comment on a post or send a message to:
coffeehabitat AT gmail DOT com but…
…Please be aware we do not accept guest posts, funny videos, or ads that are not closely tied to the theme of this site. We are currently not considering reviews of local coffee shops, promoting Kickstarter or similar campaigns, or biographies or interviews of people in the industry except under exceptional circumstances. If you have a suggestion or request for a post, please be familiar with the site and its focus first.
The contents of this web site, including the images, archives and RSS feeds, are copyrighted. Material cannot be used for commercial purposes. Excerpts may be used with attribution that includes a link back to this site AND text indicating that the material originally appeared at Coffee & Conservation. Any other use requires written permission.