July 18, 2019
Home < KCFA Business < Hawaii on The Hill handout- Washington, DC June 2019

Hawaii on The Hill handout- Washington, DC June 2019

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit association consisting of more than 250 members and supporting the interests of the hard-working coffee farmers in the Kona District on Hawaii Island. The KCFA’s mission is “to promote and protect Kona farmers’ economic interests in 100% Kona coffee, to protect the Kona coffee heritage, and to seek greater legal protection of the Kona coffee name”.

 

IMPORTANT CURRENT ISSUES

1– FDA Action: We asking for the assistance of our Hawaii congressional delegation to encourage the FDA to act—to investigate and take appropriate legal action when evidence of fraudulent and misleading labeling is found.

Counterfeiting and deceptive labeling of Kona and other Hawaii-grown coffee products is rampant on the Mainland. The federal Food and Drug Administration has ample authority to bring enforcement action against counterfeiting and deceptive labeling of coffee.

2–USDA Enforcement: Federal Enforcement of the 1998, USDA Regulation (7 CFR Sec. 319.73).  This prohibits importation of green (unroasted) coffee beans into Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the only US commercial coffee growing areas.

Since 1998, a USDA Regulation (7 CFR Sec 319.73-2) has prohibited importation of green (unroasted) coffee beans into Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the only US commercial coffee growing areas. Importation of green coffee brings risks of spreading devastating coffee diseases. Yet, Hawaii continues to allow tons of unroasted coffee beans to be imported annually into Hawaii, putting coffee farmers at risk of losing their trees and their livelihoods. Federal laws and Regulations supersede State and local ones.  Yet there is no federal enforcement.

3—Reform of Hawaii’s 10% Coffee Blend Labeling Law: We are asking our national and state leaders to support long over-due reform and set the minimum genuine content for Hawaii “coffee blends” at no less than 51%.

For more than 27 years Hawaii has been the only state in the US and the only region anywhere in the world to authorize by law the use of its origin names on packages of agricultural products when 90% of the contents is foreign grown—for example, the use of the “Kona n name on packages containing only 10% Kona-grown coffee. This law is a continuing embarrassment for the State of Hawaii. It encourages deception of consumers, takes money from the pockets of hard-working Hawaii coffee farmers, and damages the reputation of one of Hawaii’s heritage crops.

For more information on any of these issues please contact Bruce Corker, KCFA Legislative Committee Chair—808-322-9562

PO Box 5436 • Kailua-Kona • Hawaii – 96745 www.KonaCoffeeFarmers.org email: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org