Get a 10 per cent discount on bird-friendly coffee!
The RSPB has teamed up with Bird and Wild to offer ethical and environmentally friendly shade-grown coffee at a discount to users and readers of BirdGuides and Birdwatch. The purchase will also help to conserve migratory birds in Central America.
Migratory songbird species have been declining due to the loss of the Central American tropical rainforests, in which many overwinter. Areas of rainforest cleared to make way for coffee plantations which need open sunlight have added to this problem. Shade-grown coffee farms require a minimum level of tree coverage to cultivate a forest-like structure which provides shelter, food and water to help these vulnerable species survive. In addition, it provides a habitat which strengthens the natural, inter-linked ecology of the resident organisms.
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre in the USA has developed the only 100 per cent organic and shade-grown coffee certification in the world, called 'Bird Friendly Coffee'. No other coffee guarantees that every bean is produced organically ensuring tropical ‘agro-forests’ are preserved and migratory birds find a robust haven when migrating to farms throughout Central America.
Firstly, the coffee is certified organic, which means it grows on a managed healthy soil base and has no harmful pesticides applied to it, which could otherwise run off into streams and rivers. This helps to reduce the billions of pounds of noxious chemicals that are injected annually into natural ecosystems.
Also, a variety of native shade trees are grown throughout the coffee plantation. The combination of foliage cover, tree height and animal diversity provides suitable migratory bird habitat while maintaining productive farms. Producers must be recertified every three years to ensure they continue to meet these requirements and can truly call themselves ‘bird friendly’.
Lastly, the coffees are certified ‘Fairtrade’, which ensures producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for their work, by companies in developed countries based on partnerships, which means that it’s great for wildlife and people alike.
Bird and Wild can currently be purchased at the RSPB online shop at www.rspbshop.org.uk, www.birdandwild.co.uk, Amazon, Ocado or at selected RSPB stores at retail locations at nature reserves across Britain. Not only that, but they are offering subscribers and users of BirdGuides and readers of Birdwatch magazine a 10 per cent discount online; just visit one of the web addresses above and enter the code BIRDWATCH.
Karen Denton, Licensing and Product Manager from the RSPB said: "As the first retailer to sell bird-friendly coffee in the UK, we are proud of our active partnership with Bird and Wild in which we’re aiming to educate the public … and help grow a movement towards greater biodiversity on coffee plantations. By buying bird-friendly coffee, you’re helping to save nature while you shop."