Coffee Drinkers and Bird Lovers

I Am A Coffee…




Why Bird Friendly:

In the time that it takes you to drink your next cup of coffee, acres of tropical forest will be lost. Along with it will go the birds and other wildlife that depend on it.

On a global scale, more than five billion pounds of conventional pesticides are used annually for agricultural purposes, forest and rangeland management, and disease control, as well as in homes, and on lawns, gardens, golf courses, and other private properties. Twenty percent of this total volume, or 1.2 billion pounds, is used in the United States alone. What does this massive chemical dousing of the Earth mean for the health of the environment?

Shade-grown organic coffee plantations stamped with the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval play a key role in the conservation of our global environment and of migratory birds that find sanctuary in their forest-like environments.

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) encourages the production of shade-grown coffee, and the conservation of migratory birds, through its "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval.

Benefits of "Bird Friendly®" (some due to its organic and/or fair trade status)

Those farmers, roasters, and distributors that carry the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval are:

  • All Bird Friendly® coffee is inspected and certified to USDA standards.
  • Growing better tasting coffee because shade-coffee beans ripen more slowly, resulting in a richer flavor.
  • Managing shade trees and other on-farm vegetation to conserve biodiversity.
  • Providing healthy environments for workers and downstream communities.
  • Protecting waterways (buffer zones along streams, for example) and sources of drinking water.
  • Reducing soil erosion through shade management, employing agronomic techniques, and planting on hills with appropriate slopes.
  • Eliminating pesticide and chemical fertilizer use through use of biological control and other organic practices.
  • Using a pruning regime that will have minimal impact on biological diversity.
  • Minimizing use of fuel wood for drying.
  • Encouraging use of traditional varieties and varieties that are resistant to pests.
  • Controlling pollution at mills, both wet and dry.
  • Maintaining machinery and equipment to avoid contamination from fuel, fluids and lubricants.
  • Guaranteeing fair and stable prices for producers.
  • Providing access to credit to producers employing sustainable technologies.
  • Promoting democratization and community participation in all aspects of sustainable coffee production.
  • Providing technical assistance and environmental education for farmers shifting to sustainable technologies.
  • Ensuring adequate wages, housing, and health care for workers.
  • Providing access to markets for all producers, irrespective of farm size.

Where Can I find it?

You can purchase "Bird Friendly®" coffee at all National Zoo stores and restaurants. In addition, companies across the United States and Canada that sell certified "Bird Friendly®" coffees through retail stores, on the Internet, and by mail order.

Search for Bird Friendly® coffee near you.

Can't find a local grocer?

Download this flyer and ask your local grocer to carry the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval.

Support Bird Friendly

Companies that sell and distribute coffee with the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval contribute pennies on the pound to support the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)'s research and conservation programs.

Join the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in its efforts to ensure that coffee plantations remain a healthy haven for birds and other wildlife. Find out where you can find the "Bird Friendly®" seal of approval near you.