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Archive for September 29th, 2014

AW2

A & W Canada, the second largest burger chain in the country, has been promoting its hamburgers as containing ‘better beef’.

“We were hoping that we’d be able to deliver on the product that most of our customers were asking about, which is beef without any added hormones or steroids,” said Susan Senecal, chief marketing officer of A & W Food Services of Canada.

​Senecal said A & W will also buy from producers who use antibiotics only for therapeutic purposes, and whose animals are free of additives and preservatives.

(source: cbc.ca)

Not surprisingly, this has ranchers up in arms. Rick Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers responds “We don’t think it’s better beef. We think it’s beef from cattle that are raised differently than the vast majority of cattle in Canada and the United States.” (same source)

Regardless of where you stand on this beefy debate, you might be interested in another A & W product that has received less attention: coffee. A & W serves 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee, a big, two-thumbs-up winner! The green frog seal of Rainforest Alliance is on every cup and the text reads:

At A & W, we are passionate about quality. That’s why we serve 100% Arabica coffee.
We are also committed to socially and environmentally sustainable practices. That’s why 100% of A & W coffee is sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

So on this, International Coffee Day, here’s a shout-out to A & W. Thanks for offering consumers an environmentally-friendly coffee choice! For more information about the Rainforest Alliance, follow this link.

AW

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In honour of International Coffee Day, September 29th, I am reposting an entry from three years ago. Shade the coffee, shelter the birds!

Love Coffee? Save a Bird With Every Cup.

grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Photo: Seabrooke Leckie)

It’s the time of year when many of the birds we have enjoyed all summer, ‘our’ birds, make their long, perilous journey south, completing one of the most amazing feats of the natural world. Many of those birds will spend their winter on coffee plantations.

A native of Ethiopia, coffee was introduced to Brazil by the mid-1700s, and coffee plantations today cover an estimated 7 million acres in the northern Neotropics from Columbia and Brazil to Mexico. Traditionally, coffee has thrived in shaded woodlands, but in order to produce crops more quickly, sun-tolerant coffee plants were developed.

Full-sun farming requires the removal of the forest and replaces it with a virtual biological desert. Without the forest birds to eat insects, and decaying materials to feed the plants, sun-grown coffee requires the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers. At least half of the coffee grown in the Neotropics has been converted to full sun.

coffeekickinghorse

Buying shade-grown coffee is probably the most important thing you can do to help save the rainforest and protect migratory birds. These days, shade-grown coffee is widely available in supermarkets and specialty stores. Sometimes you have to read the label carefully to verify that the coffee is shade-grown.

coffeesidepanel

Too expensive? Don’t drink that much coffee? Here’s an easy alternative: Look for Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. Nabob is a product of Kraft Foods, one of a few corporate giants that control 40 to 60% of the coffee market. According to the label, Nabob is currently more than 60% Rainforest Alliance Certified and working towards 100% certification.

nabob

Look for the Rainforest Alliance Frog

Still drinking instant??? Most instant coffee is made from the poorest, sun-grown beans. If you purchase an inexpensive one-cup or small-pot coffeemaker, brewing the real thing is very fast. You can enjoy a better cup of coffee and help the birds with a minimum effort. Wake up and smell the coffee! The birds will thank you.

For more information about shade-grown coffee, see my Shade the Coffee, Shelter the Birds post. For plenty of information on many aspects of coffee and habitat, visit the site linked here: Coffee and Conservation.

ovenbird

Ovenbird (Photo: Seabrooke Leckie)

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