Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bird Friendly coffee perks at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center recently announced that visitors to various Smithsonian museums can sip its shade-grown, Bird Friendly coffee. The organic- and Fair Trade-certified java now appears at National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Castle and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery cafe.

Combined, the amount of Bird Friendly coffee consumed in this one square mile of Washington will sustain about 70 acres each year of shaded, forest-like coffee farms managed by small-scale producers. The farms are located in areas with numerous bird species living in Latin American and African habitats that would otherwise face deforestation.

“By serving Bird Friendly-certified coffee at its facilities, the Smithsonian is putting its buying power behind its strong standards, thus protecting birds and forests in the world’s coffee regions,” said Robert Rice, a geographer at the Migratory Bird Center who coordinates the program. “A mere six people drinking two cups a day for a year can help support a small farmer growing Bird Friendly coffee. It is definitely a case of the more you drink, the more you save—but in this case, it’s not pennies but crucial habitat.”
Bird Friendly coffee is produced on farms with a shade cover that provides habitat for migratory and resident birds. Migratory birds provide flower pollination and seed dispersal, among other roles.

To find a store or roaster nearest you, click here.

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