What Do Birds Have To Do With Coffee?
Our coffees come from farms that are certified Bird-Friendly® by the Smithsonian Institution's Migratory Bird Center. Acquiring this strict certification guarantees that they will not chop down their canopy of trees growing naturally over their coffee plants. This preserves the habitat of birds that would otherwise fly to their seasonal homes only to find them decimated by deforestation. Without this safekeeping, birds die every year by the thousands.
Golden Valley Farms partners with the Smithsonian to support this environmentally critical program by purchasing many of our coffees from farms that have achieved this coveted Bird-Friendly® seal.
In addition to ensuring safe surroundings for birds, it also reduces deforestation and protects the health of local communities through the use of organic farming methods thus preserving land and waterways. Bird-Friendly® farmers lovingly maintain their plantations and as a result, receive excellent wages for excellent land stewardship.
In recent years though, steep, ongoing declines have been documented in migratory bird populations in Central and South America. These declines began in the 1970's when many of the area's traditional, shade coffee farms underwent significant changes in their farming methods in order to increase profits. They stripped their farms of all the native trees and left nothing but the coffee plants to bake in the sun. Sun blasted farms definitely harvest more coffee than traditional, shade farms but the birds and other wildlife suffer tragically as a result of this profit chasing. Ten million acres of trees are being cut down every year! Many countries have lost 70-90% of their forest cover! What a disgraceful and dangerous situation for migratory birds, not to mention all other living things! No wonder the Smithsonian takes their mission so seriously.
By Purchasing Bird-Friendly® Coffee you can be confident that your product is not only shade-grown, but that your purchase also assists the Smithsonian Institutions conservation, preservation and humanitarian efforts around the world.