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Coffee... For the Birds?

In recent years, new labels have been cropping up in food packaging. The "Organic" label probably looks familiar to many people. If you drink coffee, you might have also seen labels touting "Fair Trade" and "Shade Grown."

bflogo4.gifI recently found out about another label, this one created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. It now offers a certification process that leads to coffee labeled "Bird Friendly." The coffee is described as follows:

"Bird Friendly" coffee is coffee that comes from farms in Latin America that provide good, forest-like habitat for birds. Rather than being grown on land that has been cleared of all other vegetation, "Bird Friendly" coffees are planted under a canopy of trees.

So the coffee is shade-grown coffee. In addition, it must be organic. The center provides guidelines for the amount and type of shade provided, so that there is "structural" diversity as well as a diversity of plant species. This method of production is in contrast to the typical method, wherein coffee is planted under full sun and grown with the use of chemicals and fertilizers.

Link: "Bird Friendly" Coffee (Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Migratory Bird Center)


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