Robert Rice, research scientist at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, visited Tokyo this summer to participate in the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan's (SCAJ) Sustainable Coffee Symposium. Rice was invited to present the Bird Friendly® coffee concept and program to help educate the country's specialty coffee sector about certification and seals.
With more than 550 people in attendance, the symposium featured an entire afternoon of presentations and questions. A follow-up questionnaire by the SCAJ revealed that, after hearing the presenters, audience members were most intrigued by Bird Friendly® coffee. When asked which coffee they wanted to try, most reponders replied, “Bird Friendly®”.
The press also showed interest in the program, with two articles appearing soon after the symposium. An article on the symposium in The Asahi Shimbun, the newspaper with the country's second-largest circulation, mentioned Bird Friendly® coffee. Japan's fourth largest paper, The Mainichi Shimbun, featured the Bird Friendly® coffee program in an article.
Robert Rice (center) with other presenters at the SCAJ's Sustainable Coffee Symposium in Tokyo (August 2007)
Rice with a member of the Wild Bird Society of Japan, an organization that has taken great interest in the Bird Friendly® coffee program.
For inquiries about Bird Friendly® coffee and the Japanese market, Mr. Takuro Sasaki of Sumitomo Corporation (él habla español, también).