Taking Coffee to New Highs

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Taking Coffee to New Highs


BALTIMORE, Md. -- S&D Coffee, the largest U.S. foodservice coffee roaster, is rolling out 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 High's of Baltimore convenience stores in Maryland.

Bird-Friendly coffee (BFC) is certified organic coffee produced on farms with a shade cover that provides a 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 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," stated Dr. Robert Rice, coordinator of the SMBC Bird Friendly program.

The new coffee line will be sold under the Saavion (Save the Avian) label. High's of Baltimore, based in Hanover, Md., has been selling S&D's Buffalo & Spring brand fair-trade and organic-certified coffee since 2007. The chain 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, entitled "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 U.S .and Japanese markets equal with respect to global market shares. The years 2008 to 2010 saw a 25-percent average annual increase in volume roasted and sold in the North American market.

There are 46 roasters in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and Japan that carry BFC provided by 16 importers.

"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," said S&D's Senior Vice President Lee Wicker. "High's of Baltimore has aligned with us to provide this 'white tablecloth' level coffee in the mid-Atlantic region. Every time consumers purchase a cup of Saavion Blend Coffee from our Buffalo & Spring brand, they are supporting this worthy cause."