The big winner at the Grounds for Health online charity coffee auction last week was Hacienda El Roble, a Smithsonian Bird Friendly® certified farm in northern Colombia, which auctioned its sustainable coffee for $120.05 per pound. While the bidding was for charity, and not market-value price, Hacienda El Roble’s coffee beans achieved highest bid, greatest number of bids and surpassed the previous year’s record by $45.00 per pound—ultimately grossing $3,121.30 for the charity.
Each year, Grounds for Health, an international non-profit, organizes the online auction to benefit cervical cancer prevention programs in coffee-growing communities. The event brings together major importers, roasters and retailers to bid on over 6,000 pounds of coffee beans donated by 25 companies.
The lucky bidder was Roaster Georgio Testani who plans to provide coffee for Michelin-star restaurants to raise awareness about the quality of certified Smithsonian Bird Friendly beans. “It’s truly great coffee and worth every penny,” Testani said.
Oswaldo Acevedo, owner of Hacienda El Roble, stands behind his coffee for its value to both aficionados as well as the environment. “We grow Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffee because we believe when you remove the forest, you remove the flavor of the coffee, and many of the good things that benefit nature. Consumers can be happy to know that the shade-grown coffee they drink has extensive environmental value,” Acevedo said.
Over the past five years, sales of Smithsonian Bird Friendly® certified coffee have doubled. Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffee is grown under forest canopies and goes beyond USDA organic and Rainforest Alliance labels to ensure that farmers do not clear-cut forest or use harmful artificial pesticides, instead cultivating coffee under diverse shade cover that can be home to as many as 170 bird species. Learn more about Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee.