a graphic depiction of a small green bird and various small chocolates and chocolate bars and beans. The word "Bird Friendly Cocoa" are in green bold font.

The Bird Friendly™ Difference

The Smithsonian Bird Friendly Cocoa Seal

The Bird Friendly™ certification just got a whole lot sweeter.

Chocolate has joined the flock! Introducing Smithsonian Bird Friendly™ certified cocoa, the only certification that guarantees healthy habitat for birds and other wildlife with each delicious bite.

Bird Friendly™ flies above the rest by certifying cocoa farms that conserve birds and other wildlife by protecting tropical forests and native trees.

The result is delicious cocoa guaranteed to be wildlife-friendly, sustainable, and organic.

Research led by Smithsonian scientists found that cocoa farms with 30-40% canopy cover and diverse shade trees could support as many bird species as undisturbed forests. Based on these findings, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center researchers developed the certification standard for Bird Friendly cocoa. Cocoa is the second crop type certified by the Smithsonian Bird Friendly program, following coffee.

Instead of clearing rainforest, Bird Friendly cocoa grows under and alongside the shade of native trees that provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. All Bird Friendly certified cocoa meets strict environmental criteria developed by Smithsonian scientists, assessing for qualities like canopy cover, tree height, and organic certification, resulting in the most biodiversity-friendly chocolates on the market.

Meet the First Bird Friendly™ Cocoa Farm

a hand holding a green cacao pod with speckles of red

Zorzal Cacao is the first cocoa farm to receive Bird Friendly™ certification. This 1,019-acre bird reserve in the heart of the Dominican Republic is also home to a cooperative of farmers growing delicious and sustainable organic cocoa.  

Cocoa is grown under the shade of native trees that are home to important bird and wildlife species, and over 70% of the Zorzal reserve is designated as “forever wild.” That means the forest is preserved and will not be used for agriculture. 

Learn more about how Zorzal Cacao combines cocoa farming with the conservation of migratory bird species in this video.

Explore Bird Friendly™ Chocolates

Three chocolatiers partnered with Smithsonian for the launch of Bird Friendly cocoa: Dandelion Chocolate, Raaka Chocolate, and French Broad Chocolates. Each chocolatier sources Bird Friendly certified cocoa from Zorzal Cacao and has committed to using 100% Bird Friendly cocoa in their certified products. Only chocolate products made with 100% Bird Friendly certified cocoa display the Bird Friendly certification logo.

Learn more about the first Bird Friendly chocolatiers and their certified products using the links below. 

a graphic depiction of a chocolate with lighter chocolate drizzle in a paper wrapper

Raaka Chocolate

From their factory in Brooklyn, New York, Raaka Chocolate crafts unroasted, single origin dark chocolate from scratch.

Raaka’s first Bird Friendly chocolates include a Pink Sea Salt chocolate bar and chocolate minis.

a graphic depiction of a chocolate heart with lighter chocolate drizzle on top

Dandelion Chocolate

Located in San Francisco, California, Dandelion Chocolate has been crafting small batch, bean-to-bar chocolates for more than 10 years.

Dandelion’s two Zorzal Comunitario Dominican Republic bars mark their first Bird Friendly certified chocolates.

a square chocolate candy with darker chocolate drizzle on top

French Broad Chocolates

French Broad Chocolates is located in Asheville, North Carolina, and handcrafts intentionally sourced cocoa into small-batch chocolate bars, bonbons and confections. 

The first certified chocolate products from French Broad Chocolates will be available later this year.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the Bird Friendly cocoa™ certification? Contact us at birdfriendly@si.edu. For media requests, please visit our newsroom