For your Bird Friendly® inspection and certification, growers should contact one of the following agencies. These companies are organic certification agencies that appear on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's accreditation list for the National Organic Program. This accreditation provides an important "first cut" for us in terms of providing quality control and verifiable audit trails. In addition, the inspectors working with these agencies have been trained by Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) staff in how to evaluate shade coffee systems. The companies listed have all signed agreements with the SMBC, and can arrange for an inspector to visit your farm or cooperative.
Since Bird Friendly® certification also requires organic certification, combining the inspections may save you money—all these companies also do organic certifications.
The certification period applied to shade cover on Bird Friendly® farms has been increased to 3 years. Shade cover does not change that much from year to year, and growers can ill afford any added costs associated with unnecessary inspections and certifications. Therefore, effective 2007, shade certification for the Bird Friendly® coffee seal will be valid for 3 years.
The organic inspector who visits a BF farm or coop during years when the shade inspection is not scheduled will need to visually confirm that no changes in shade management have been made. Moreover, if a farm or cooperative wants to bring new areas into the BF program during this time, the normal inspection and certification process must be applied to these areas.
Any questions about these changes can be directed to Robert Rice at 202-633-4209 or Email