Smithsonian-Certified Shade Grown & Bird Friendly Coffee

Bird Friendly Smithsonian Migratory Bird CenterSmithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) shade grown organic coffee certification is held by our Triple Certified organic coffee products. Smithsonian-certified shade grown organic coffee is certified to be organically and shade grown under conditions that are ecologically sustainable for migratory birds and their habitat.

Caffe Ibis® coffee undergoes annual on-the-ground inspections to certify shade grown growing conditions. Shade grown coffee allows for a greater level of biodiversity for birds, butterflies, animals, and plant life than does sun-technified coffee.

Bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee is simply the best tasting coffee because it is grown using traditional Arabica bean rootstock. It is grown without chemical herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers or with minimal inputs. These chemicals are largely unnecessary because shade grown organic coffee is sustainable coffee. The tremendous biodiversity of the coffee plantation provides an environment where the use of these harmful products is not needed. The biodiversity of the plantation provides the nutrients and natural pest controls needed by the coffee trees. Shade grown organic coffee produces fewer cherries and ripens slower than "sun-technified coffee." This allows a concentration of nutrients in shade coffee relative to sun-technified coffee.

Shade Grown Qualified Coffee

Caffe Ibis® also offers several double certified and specialty conventional varieties of non-Smithsonian certified shade grown coffees. Reasons for lack of shade grown certification vary. Some farms that qualify for shade grown coffee may not be able to devote time and money to achieve certification, but this does not diminish their coffee quality. Many farms that we get coffee from are shade grown qualified but lack the official certification.

Shade grown coffee plantations provide habitat for over 150 species of North American songbirds. They also provide a diversified economic basis for small family farmers. Shade grown coffee provides the best possible scenario for a sustainable coffee future.

Sun-technified coffee plantations are, by comparison, “a biological desert.” Sun-technified coffee plantations using hybrid commercial rootstocks, herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers are extremely exploitive of the environment and the people who live and work in and around the plantations.

Please visit these websites for more information:

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)

Partners in Flight: Sharing Our Shared Birds


Caffe Ibis® has a long history of seeking out quality coffees that meet high standards for our planet and people. In fact, Caffe Ibis® has been a pioneer in the organic coffee market in the United States by demanding coffee that is processed and harvested with human health, human dignity, and environmental benefits in mind.

Single Certified = Organic Coffee

Double Certified = Organic and Fair Trade

Triple Certified = Organic, Fair Trade, and Shade Grown