Saving Forests One Luxurious Sip At A Time

canopy_bird_300x300 copyFawzia Ahmad

When you take a sip of Salt Spring Coffee, you get more than exceptional coffee. You are also supporting sustainable agriculture practices that protect carbon-rich forests and preserve habitat that is home to thousands of migratory birds. As a 1% for the Planet member, Salt Spring Coffee is donating $1 to support Canopy’s work for every package of Canopy Bird blend coffee sold.

The Link: Songbirds, Forests and Your Morning Brew

Forests are habitat, which means home. Home to millions of species, from grizzly bears to orangutans, tiny birds and lichen. Home to vital carbon sinks and massive fresh water reserves. And too often, home to practices that threaten to destroy them.

Today, we are losing old growth forests to logging at an alarming rate. Eighty percent of the world’s original forests have already been logged, and much of what is left of these precious resources is altered fragments. Most of the remaining large tracts intact forests on the planet are contained in just three countries: Canada, Russia and Brazil. Due to the increasing demand for products like coffee, paper, fabric and palm oil, many ancient forests in tropical regions have been destroyed and converted to plantations. The diversity of birds and other species plunges when they are converted to – and its especially devastating when the canopy shifts from shade to sun plantations.

Enter: Coffee For The Birds!

Salt Spring Coffee roasts to inspire positive change. They recognize the impact the coffee industry has on farmers and ecosystems; the connection between birds, coffee plants and forests is integral to produce the finest brew. Dozens of North American bird species, like the Western Kingbird, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Blue-beaded Vireo, migrate through shade-grown coffee plantations in Latin America over the winter. Without the lush forest canopy, migratory songbirds would not be able to help control insects or fertilize soils at the coffee plantations. After their long migration, these birds fill up on bugs found in the dense canopies, like the coffee borer: a coffee farmer’s nemesis. In addition to the pest control birds provide, the decaying leaves from the forests become natural, nutrient-rich fertilizers for the coffee plants in the soil below.

Support for Forest Conservation

Through their 1% For The Planet membership, Salt Spring Coffee has partnered with Canopy to support our work with the landmark Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. For more than a decade Canopy has worked closely with our allies to secure protection in the Great Bear Rainforest. Our many partnerships with forest industry customers have played an important role as we work to secure the ecological integrity of this iconic place. Salt Spring Coffee is committed to protecting and celebrating British Columbia’s forests because of the company’s connection to sustainability, the environment and forests’ direct connection to coffee. The company’s Canopy Bird campaign is designed to help protect endangered forests, keeping them intact for bird habitat and providing cover for these flavourful shade-grown coffee beans.

Roasting Coffee, Cooling the Planet

Old growth temperate rainforests like the precious Great Bear Rainforest are second to no other forest ecosystem in the amount of carbon stored per hectare. This remaining expanse of old growth forest contains important species habitat – including wolves, eagles, grizzly and black bears and of course the elusive, charismatic Spirit Bear. By redirecting corporate buyers away from products containing virgin tree fiber that originates from endangered forests, Canopy addresses the problem of forest loss at its core: consumption. So far, 50% of the Great Bear Rainforest has been formally protected or set off-limits to logging. By the end of 2014 we expect that 70% of the old growth forests in this region will be off-limits to forestry operations with more sustainable logging taking place on the remainder of the land-base. With the forest and its lush canopy protected, birds will continue to make their long migratory journey each year to the coffee growing regions in the south.

Salt Spring Coffee’s Canopy Bird campaign will help protect these endangered forests – temperate and tropical – keeping them intact for bird habitat and providing cover for these flavorful shade-grown coffee beans. We invite Canopy’s supporters to take part in the Canopy Bird campaign. There are three ways to show your support and get involved: buy coffee, take our pledge, and get creative!

Three Ways for Coffee Lovers To Participate

Purchase a bag of Salt Spring Coffee’s Canopy Bird Blend: $1 of every package of whole bean coffee will go to Canopy for the duration of the campaign. This medium-dark blend is also Organic, Fair-to-Farmer, IMO Fair For Life and Direct Trade certified.

Sign up for the Canopy Bird Pledge: We will help you with a 21-day Canopy Bird Challenge, small things you can do every day to motivate and inspire participants to honor their personal pledge.

Support Salt Spring Coffee’s Paint-by-Numbers community art show and auction: Handpicked artists and creative change-makers are helping tell Canopy’s story. With brushes, paints, colour and a little imagination – they’re taking a customized Canopy Paint-by-Number canvas and creating a special collection of work that will be auctioned at an event in September.

Each time you enjoy a slow sip of your coffee, think of the melodic songbirds that helped farmers produce the delicious beans for the brew. Once the caffeine hits, whistle a tune and remember the intricate link between songbirds, coffee plants and forests… Protecting the tropical canopies of rainforests around the globe will help ensure you can enjoy a second cup!