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Bird Friendly® Coffee(Page 2/2)

October 2010

Certification criteria for Bird Friendly® Coffee

To be certified as Bird Friendly® farm, there are roughly two core criteria that must be met. One is that the coffee is grown organically. This is friendly not only to birds but also to people. The other is that the coffee is shade grown in a natural forest setting.

It has set original criteria for shade growing methods: the canopy (of the shade trees) must display at least 40% foliage cover when looking skyward from within the agroforest, and trees must be comprised of 11 or more species. There are also criteria for the height of shade trees, namely that 60% should be "middle" trees (12m and taller), 20% should be "tall" trees (15m and taller) and 20% "small" trees. In short, the "architecture" of the farm's shade cover should resemble a natural forest. The certification criteria for Bird Friendly® are simple but strict, and for that reason are known as the "gold standard"—the best available benchmark— for coffee certification in the United States.

Migratory birds have actually been observed resting on Bird Friendly® certified farms. Sumitomo Corporation is committed to the expansion of the Bird Friendly® program, under an exclusive contract with the Smithsonian Institution, the mother body of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

The Bird Friendly® Coffee program is an environmental protection scheme in which all coffee drinkers can take part. Sumitomo Corporation will continue to care for and enhance the global environment, with a cup of good coffee as a starting point.

  • Bird Friendly® Coffee Approval seal

  • Bird Friendly® Coffee

  • Selling the first coffee products packaged in a consumer-friendly paper beverage container (“cart can”)


Interview:As partners that work toward constant improvement / Dr. Robert A. Rice

Dr. Robert A. Rice,
A Researcher of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
A geographer. Completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, CA. His research centers around agroecology and land use policy issues. Have conducted field work on coffee farms in eight countries in Central America and Mexico, he helped found the Bird Friendly® Coffee program in 1999, which certifies coffee farms that provide quality habitat for migratory birds.

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