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Proudly Serving Biodiversity: Meet Your Bird Friendly Coffee Grower

  • A shade-grown coffee farmer stands near a handmade table and wood stump stools in a forested area of the El Roble farm in Colombia featuring a variety of plants of varying heights

The coffee farm El Roble, nestled high above the Mesa de los Santos region of Colombia, has been in owner Oswaldo Acevedo’s family since 1840. El Roble sits at 1,650 meters (5,413 feet) above sea level in the Department of Santander.

In addition to the 82 coffee varieties grown in its experimental garden, El Roble produces many varietals commercially. The 300-hectare (790-acre) organic estate grows 1 million pounds of Bird Friendly certified coffee each year.

El Roble’s owner credits the beauty and ecological diversity of the estate to the Bird Friendly habitat his family created. The Bosque de Sombrío, or canopy of shade trees, provides habitat for native and migrant wildlife, including 126 species of birds and 26 species of bats. A known ecotourist destination, the hacienda also produces economically valuable products, such as honey and fine woods.

The El Roble shade coffee farm in Colombia. There are trees of different heights, shrubs, green grass and an unpaved road

Acevedo also attributes the high quality of his farm’s coffee to the shade provided by the Bird Friendly environment. In June 2018, El Roble donated a variety of coffee grown exclusively on the estate to a charity auction. The winning bid ($120.05 per pound) went to a roaster who bought it not only for its quality but also to support the efforts of farmers who are willing to invest in Bird Friendly cultivation.

Acevedo’s advice to other coffee growers: “Jump in to Bird Friendly!”