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Coffee farming originally developed in Africa as an understory crop beneath diverse shade trees that provided habitat for wildlife. In the 1970s and 1980s, as part of the general shift to 'technified agriculture,' development agencies such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) helped fund the replacement of traditional shade-grown farming techniques with 'sun cultivation' techniques on plantations in Central America in order to increase yields. [more]

Coffee Topics:

Coffee Links:

  • Coffee & Agricultural Issues in the Americas - An index of Web resources pertaining to the environmental consequences of cultivating and processing coffee as well as the means of improving organic cultivation and the biological diversity surrounding this crop.
  • Coffee Contact: The Web's Independent Forum for Coffee Issues - A privately maintained forum for issues concerning coffee production, growers' cooperatives, roaster marketing, and coffee certification.
  • Coffee Exports from Costa Rica - Case study from American University's Trade and Environment Database (TED).
  • Coffee, Birds, and Trade Policy - PDF report from the Seattle Audobon Society and Earthjustice Legal Defense.
  • Coffee, Conservation, and Commerce in the Western Hemisphere  Editor's Pick  - How Individuals and Institutions Can Promote Ecologically Sound Farming and Forest Management in Northern Latin America. A report by NRDC and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
  • Conservation Coffee Organizer's Kit - Information from Rainforest Alliance about coffee farming in Latin America, how the shift to sun coffee is effecting migratory birds and what you can do to help educate other coffee drinkers.
  • Costa Rica Shade Coffee and the Environment - Case study from American University's Trade and Environment Database (TED).
  • Environmental and Cultural Implications of Guatemalan Coffee Production - Case study from American University's Trade and Environment Database (TED).
  • Global Exchange Coffee Campaign - Supports grassroots efforts towards more fair trade coffee and certification.
  • Seattle Audobon Society -- Shade Coffee Campaign - Includes information on shade-grown coffee, types of birds impacted by coffee plantations, a media kit, and where to buy shade-grown coffee.
  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center -- Coffee Corner - Includes information on the impacts of coffee plantations on migratory birds as well as sources of 'bird-friendly' coffee.
  • Songbird.org - Dedicated to the preservation of migrating songbirds as it relates to the coffee industry's deforestation of the bird's natural habitat.
  • Specialty Coffee Association of America - Non-profit trade organization comprised of retailers, roasters, roaster/retailers, producers, exporters, importers, green coffee brokers, manufacturers of coffee processing equipment and other allied products.
  • Trouble brewing: The changing Face of Coffee Production - Fact sheet from the World Resources Institute on trends in coffee production and consumption.

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