Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where Does Your Coffee Come From?

When you drink your coffee each morning do you:

1. Drink it and proceed with your day with no clue of the impact it is making?
2. Drink it, knowing that your cup is most likely grown in an irresponsible habitat destructive way?
or... do you...
3. Drink it and feel good knowing it was shade-grown and that you have made an impact in preventing habitat destruction?

Well... let's hope you answered #3. If you answered #1, I forgive you. If you answered #2 - it is time for a change.

Here's the deal. To make a long story short, coffee (long ago) was grown mostly in shade covered environments in tropical areas that hosted hundred of migratory birds and other species of plants and animals. Things were good. We could drink coffee with little adverse impacts on the environment.

Flash forward to today and Coffee is still very much in demand and a driving force of many economies in countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. However, man has found yet another way to mass produce something without thinking of anything more than the mighty dollar! Most coffee today is grown irresponsibly in areas that were cleared out to grow sun tolerant coffee without the trees that once owned the land. The good news is more coffee. The bad news is less trees - less habitat - less birds - less plants - and less species of whatever once utilized the trees to survive. The local farmers which are mostly doing all they can to survive are working and/ or growing on farms that give them the most benefit - the farms that are growing the sun tolerant coffee.

More good news! There are several GREAT initiatives out there that are actively working with farmers to educate them on nature friendly ways of growing coffee and offering them opportunities to sell their coffee at fair prices so to encourage them to want to grow in this environmentally friendly manner.

So... now that you know, here are some links that you can use to learn more about shade grown and bird friendly coffee and even purchase your first bag. You can do it!

1 comment:

troutbirder said...

One more reason many of our songbirds are disappearing. Am glad to read that possibly something can be done. I do like tea though the problem there may be similar???

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal