In many of the world’s best coffee producing regions, coffee trees grow in the shade of dense tropical canopy. The canopy serves as critical habitat for many species, including migratory birds that land in the trees and eat insects that would otherwise make meals of the coffee trees below. Shade grown trees draw birds, birds act as a natural pesticide protecting the coffee trees.
With the rise in popularity of coffee as a commodity, many farmers cleared their land of tropical canopy to plant coffee trees more densely, hoping for a greater return on their harvests. Farms with shade grown coffee became less common, impacting the migratory patterns of birds and diminishing their function as natural pest control. Farmers turned to synthetic chemicals and fertilizers to accelerate growth of new trees and control insects.
We are committed to sourcing shade grown coffee from areas where the natural habitat includes tropical canopy. We are invested in protecting habitat of migratory birds and supporting farmers that recognize their benefit as pest control eliminating the need for synthetic chemical pesticides.
Specifically, our Fair Trade, Organic, and Shade Grown Song Bird coffees are grown in Nicaragua and represent conservation programs in critically important ecosystems.
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In 2012, we embarked on a project that would bring clean cookstoves to the coffee farmers of The Namanyonyi Cooperative. The first 44 stoves were built for the elderly, families with children, and single-parent families. Now it’s time to build 50 more.
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