Hello VTBIRD coffee drinkers,
Do you know where your coffee comes from – as in where it is grown and
We are fortunate in having a variety of good coffee suppliers in our
region, some of which are Vermont-owned businesses offering
locally-roasted beans. However, our coffee-purchasing decisions are
important for many reasons in addition to taste, impacting our beloved
Neotropical migratory birds, farm families, and the conservation of
With permission of the list owner, I’m writing to suggest an easy way to
obtain some of the freshest, best-tasting, most responsibly-sourced
coffee available, while simultaneously saving you money and supporting
the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE). Although this sounds too good
to be true, it is not! One person donating about one hour per week can
make it happen, as our Upper Valley buying group has learned over the
past 5 years. Our source is a New England company called Birds & Beans.
Many of you are aware that tropical habitat destruction is today’s
biggest threat to Neotropical migrants. Ken Rosenberg of the Cornell Lab
of Ornithology says "To me, the top three threats to birds overall are
habitat loss, habitat loss, and habitat loss." "We're losing the battle
acre by acre." Unfortunately, only a small proportion of coffee sold in
the US meets Bird Friendly® standards, yet ornithologist Bridget
Stutchbury says the most-important single step an individual can do to
help stop migratory songbird population loss is to always buy certified
Bird Friendly® coffee. Birds & Beans is triple certified: Smithsonian
Bird Friendly®, USDA Organic, and Fair Trade Certified.
Forming a local coffee-buying group is simple. We have our own e-mail
address, and group members put in a request every 3-4 weeks; some order
every time, and others only every couple months. There is no membership,
no minimum purchase, no shipping cost, and no overhead cost. The coffee
arrives within a few days of being roasted. Through the buying group,
the cost of this coffee is about $12 per pound, as beans or ground. So
yes, there is a modest premium for quality, freshness and
sustainability, maybe about the cost of one coffee-shop latte per pound.
And it gets even better: Birds & Beans returns a portion of their group
sales revenue directly to VCE (<http://vtecostudies.org/>).
The buying system really works. To date our group has placed 83 orders,
totaling 5,100 pounds of coffee. Member satisfaction and loyalty are
astounding; we almost never lose members unless they relocate out of the
Buying groups need only one person to take charge; one person willing to
spend about an hour per week giving back to birds, and bringing
great-tasting coffee to other birders, friends, and neighbors. What
began for me as a means to obtain great-tasting Birds & Beans coffee has
become satisfying beyond anything I imagined. For just one hour per week…
If you would like to learn more, please reply to this message or to
[log in to unmask] I would be happy to help anyone else get started.
For details on the coffee, check here:
Here is more information about Bird Friendly certification:
This is the state-of-the-art roasting operation in Maine:
Drink better coffee, and help Neotropical migrants, farmers, and forests!
Doug Hardy, Norwich