This Coffee Is for the Birds

S&D Coffee, High's of Baltimore, launch bird-friendly organic coffee in 48 stores

HANOVER, Md. -- 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 specialty coffee while supporting efforts to retain winter bird habitat.

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 that are increasingly threatened by deforestation globally. The bird-friendly criteria are the world's most stringent standards for shade-grown coffee production.

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%, it said.

BFC sales are on the rise in general, the companies said. A new SMBC report, "The Global Market for Bird Friendly Coffee 2010," estimates that sales of BFC rose 166% 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 2008-2010 saw a 25% 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. Guatemala ranked first in terms of production (28%), and, with Peru (25%), Mexico (20%), Nicaragua (15%), and Columbia (8%), the five countries account for 96% 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," said S&D 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."

Concord, N.C.-based S&D Coffee is a gourmet coffee roaster and supplier providing a variety of specialty coffees, office coffees, flavored coffees and more.

Hanover, Md.-based High's is a family-owned chain of convenience stores. The stores sell CITGO and Shell gasoline and offer the full variety of convenience merchandise across all categories, including High's own brand of milk, eggnog, cheeses, sour cream, ice cream and other dairy products.

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