In the time that it takes you to drink your next cup of coffee, acres of tropical forest will be lost. Along with the forest will go the birds and other wildlife that depend on it. Wouldn't it be gratifying to know that by choosing the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval you'd be helping to conserve wildlife habitat?
"Shade-grown" refers to the way coffee has been traditionally farmed. For generations, coffee shrubs have been planted in the shade of tall trees, making these traditional coffee plantations excellent homes for birds and other forest-dwelling wildlife.
Over the past 30 years, more than half of the traditional shade-grown coffee farms in Latin America have been converted to "sun-coffee" farms to increase production. This newer method entails clearing or thinning the shade trees and growing coffee plants under full or nearly full sun conditions. These changes also demand the use of agrochemicals like synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to counter the effects of eliminating the shaded agroforestry system.
|Sun coffee farm (left) and traditional shade coffee farm (right).|
Unfortunately, scientists believe that the conversion from shade to sun coffee contributes to the decline in numbers of many of our birds that migrate to Latin America.