S&D Coffee, High’s of Baltimore, Launch Smithsonian Bird Friendly Organic Coffee at Maryland Convenience Stores

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S&D Coffee, the largest U.S. food service coffee roaster, is launching a line of shade-grown, organic, Fair Trade-certified coffee that is also certified to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s “Bird Friendly” coffee program at all 48 of Hanover, MD-based High’s of Baltimore High’s convenience stores in Maryland.

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Every time consumers purchase a cup of Saavion Blend at a High’s in Maryland, they support protecting migrating birds vital for their beauty and assistance in creating sustainable agricultural production,” according to S&D’s SVP Lee Wicker.

S&D Coffee, the largest U.S. food service coffee roaster, is launching a line of shade-grown, organic, Fair Trade-certified coffee that is also certified to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s (SMBC) “Bird Friendly” coffee program at all 48 of Hanover, MD-based High’s of Baltimore High’s convenience stores in Maryland. The move will enable drivers to experience a true high end specialty coffee while supporting efforts to retain winter bird habitat. The announcement comes at the beginning of the annual fall migration during which birds such as the Baltimore Oriole head south for the winter.

Bird Friendly coffee (BFC) is certified organic coffee produced on farms with a shade cover that provides vital habitat for migratory and resident birds in tropical landscapes which are increasingly threatened by deforestation globally. The Bird Friendly criteria are the world’s most stringent standards for shade-grown coffee production. Migratory birds are not only beautiful with vibrant songs, but are integral to tropical and United States ecosystems alike, helping with flower pollination, and seed dispersal, along with insect and pest management. “North American farms benefit in many ways from migratory birds’ return each spring, helping to guarantee our food supply,” said Dr. Robert Rice, Coordinator of the SMBC Bird Friendly program.

The coffee will be sold under the Saavian (Save the Avian) label. High’s of Baltimore has been selling S+D’s Buffalo & Spring brand Fair Trade and organic coffee since 2007. The company found that by switching to organic and specialty grade coffees, its coffee sales have increased 40 percent.

BFC sales are on the rise in general. According to an SMBC report released today, The Global Market for Bird Friendly® Coffee 2010, estimated sales of BFC rose 166 percent from about $1.5 million in 2005 to more than $4 million in 2010 with US and Japanese markets equal with respect to global market shares. The years 2008-2010 saw a 25 percent average annual increase in volume roasted and sold in the North American market. There are 46 roasters in the U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, and Japan that carry BFC provided by 16 importers. Guatemala ranked first in terms of production (28 percent), and, with Peru (25 percent), Mexico (20 percent), Nicaragua (15 percent), and Columbia (8 percent), the five countries account for 96 percent of all the BFC certified globally.

“S&D is proud of its role in helping to protect migrating birds vital not only for their beauty, but also for their assistance in creating sustainable agricultural production, including in the coffee fields,” according to S&D’s Senior Vice President Lee Wicker. “High’s of Baltimore has aligned with us to provide this ‘white table cloth’ level coffee in the mid-Atlantic region. Every time consumers purchase a cup of Saavion Blend Coffee from our Buffalo & Spring brand, they express their support for this worthy cause.”

To introduce Bird Friendly coffee to the zoos and aquaria, S&D and the SMBC will co-host a booth at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Annual Conference September 14-17 in Atlanta, GA. SMBC will also exhibit at the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. S&D will provide the Bird Friendly organic coffee for the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) membership lounge.

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Sandra Marquardt
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