Purchase Sustainable Coffee - Help Migratory Birds
Many birds that visit your yard during the summer months migrate annually to and from Latin America where their habitat is being increasingly converted to sun-grown coffee plantations.
In response to this threat, the National Wildlife Federation has teamed with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters® to develop National Wildlife Blend and National Wildlife Decaf, a blend of fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee.
Why Organic Coffee
As the world market gets flooded with inexpensive, low-quality coffee from places like Vietnam and Brazil, traditional coffee farmers — who produce much smaller crops — can't compete and are often left to abandon their farms or convert their fields into full-sun coffee plantations. Due to this recent "coffee crisis," half of the region's traditional coffee farms have been converted to full-sun plantations.
It is important to support organic coffee cooperatives that are avoiding pesticide use and keeping a variety of trees, thus providing a much-needed stopover for migratory birds.
What is Sustainable Coffee?
For hundreds of years, coffee plants were grown using organic practices: inter-planting coffee with shade trees, composting, and eliminating harmful chemicals. These traditional, "sustainable" plantations often yield the best tasting variety of coffee, according to industry experts.
So why aren't all coffee beans grown this way? Because farmers can produce more beans more cheaply in "full sun" fields. Unfortunately, those fields carry a hefty environmental price.
- Deforestation of traditional coffee plantations in Central America and Mexico adds to the loss of tropical forests that is already occurring at an alarming rate in this region.
- Loss of forest habitat in this region is directly linked to a shrinking migratory songbird population worldwide.
- When trees are cleared, natural predators that keep insects in check are no longer present, so farmers turn to powerful pesticides that harm people and wildlife.
- Sustainable coffee plantations often contain more tree species per acre than an acre of North American forest.