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In 2012, editor Julie Craves wrote for us about the ecological costs of traditional coffee farming and she explained why shade-grown coffee is a better alternative for supporting birds and other wildlife.
Recently, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center launched a #DrinkBirdFriendly campaign to educate consumers about Bird Friendly coffee certification.
Bird Friendly Coffee certifies farmers’ growing practices that preserve migratory bird habitats – and their ecosystems – in the face of deforestation and climate change.
The campaign includes advertising in San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC, social media promotion and includes the program’s new Bird Friendly seal (above).
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center also announced the results of an online survey of more than 1,500 coffee drinkers. He found :
- 83% were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to purchase Bird Friendly coffee once they learned of the higher certification standards it offers compared to other certifications and marketing claims, which are less stringent in the conservation of biodiversity.
- The poll was heavily influenced by avid bird lovers, but even coffee drinkers who say they simply “enjoy” birds, and those who don’t enjoy them at all, are even more likely to buy the coffee once. that they are aware of the strict certification standards in terms of biodiversity. — 80% and 50% respectively.
- Consumers would pay $0.65 more per cup for certified Bird Friendly coffee.
- 87% said that if the coffee was available in their usual store, in their usual brand and flavor, the Bird Friendly certification label would positively influence their purchasing decisions.
- Although current awareness and availability of certified coffee is low, the survey found that companies have an incentive to make coffee more widely available to consumers: on average, respondents are willing to pay $2.10 more per pound for coffee bearing the Smithsonian Bird Friendly seal. A similar, independent study of Cornell Ornithology Lab has produced an even higher price for coffee that preserves bird habitat. This report will be available later this year.
- The certification’s association with the Smithsonian Institution positively influences more than half of respondents and was most influential with those affiliated with nature and conservation organizations.
- The survey concludes that taste remains the most important quality for consumers buying coffee, a conclusion reinforced by various external studies.
While deforestation for sun-grown coffee production in the tropics has certainly been damaging bird habitat for decades, the good news is that shade-grown coffee growing is on the rise. In 2018, 4,600 growers produced 19 million pounds of certified Bird Friendly coffee on over 31,000 acres of land. And over the past six years, sales of certified Bird Friendly coffee have doubled.