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RE: bird habitat and coffee


I don't know what an accurate estimate would be, but I would venture to say
that most of us that use and promote shade-grown coffee would be
disappointed to know just how small of a proportion of coffee-drinking
birders routinely purchase shade-grown coffee. 

I have personally taken responsibility at the Charlotte Nature Museum to
educate staff and interested visitors on the importance of shade-grown
coffee to birds and their habitats. Sadly, I'll be surprised if anyone
champions the cause there once I'm gone (which isn't much longer). Hopefully
I'll be wrong.

To put it concisely, if birders who drink coffee will not by-and-large
purchase shade-grown brands, who on earth will? If a poor graduate student
can budget it, surely others out there can. Put your money where your heart
(supposedly) is folks!

Eric Harrold
Charlotte, NC

-----Original Message-----
From: E/L Pardue
To: carolina birds list serve
Sent: 1/1/03 5:30 PM
Subject: bird habitat and coffee

A e-letter about socially conscious investing recently offered a long
on the international coffee scene -- low prices, oversupply, and lots of
desperate third-world farmers.  Of interest to birding enthusiasts, the
e-letter said:

"Along with the economic and social cost, the mass-production methods of
coffee growing that have helped drive down prices also carry a severe
environmental cost. Traditional shade-grown coffee is raised, often
the use of pesticides, under a canopy that provides shelter for birds
other wildlife. It is cultivated by using fruit, avocado, and other cash
crops to provide shade for coffee bushes. When 'sun-grown' coffee is
produced on clear-cut industrial plantations, this vital habitat is

The e-letter urged folks to buy Fair-Trade coffee (a system of
farmers a decent price, which leads them to leave shade trees in place
use less poison)  and offered these links for more information:

Equal Exchange

TransFair USA

"bird friendly" coffee

Len Pardue,
Asheville NC