July 19, 2019
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April 2018 The Independent Voice

      The Independent Voice
  “Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association  
                     April 2018

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA
www.konacoffeefarmers.org    info@konacoffeefarmers.org

Kona Coffee Expo – April 6th
Time to Fertilize Coffee
Legislative Update
QuickBooks for Farmers
CA Coffee Companies to add Cancer Warning Label
Farm Service Agency Micro Loans
CBB Conference – April 25th
CBB Subsidy Program
Global Coffee Powerhouse
Invasive Stinkbug on the Mainland
Recipe: Lamb Ragu
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

 The Kona Coffee Expo is this Friday, April 6th!

*Educational seminars
*Vendors’ booths
*Roasting class
*Political candidates (bring your questions)
*Cupping experiences
And more!

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association Coffee and Small Farms EXPO 2018 is coming to the Old Airport Makaeo Pavilion on Friday, April 6, 2018 from 10am to 3pm.

From the Field to Your Cup.

Talk to the experts – USDA, CTAHR, DOH.  COFFEE & SMALL FARM RESOURCES – 100% Kona Coffee – Equipment, Products and Services.  Technical Talk Story, “break out” Sessions and Special Guest Speakers.

Check out our EXPO website for further information about Vendors, Exhibitors and the Expo in general at http://www.konaexpo.com/.

Live music will be provided in the afternoon by the up and coming Hawai’ian music group Mauka Soul http://maukasoul.com/.  You can hear a sample of their music at the website.
We look forward to seeing you there!

-Submitted by Clare Wilson

 Time to Fertilize Is Now        

Fertilize! As you can observe, the coffee is showing signs of a growth.  Because of our good and timely rains- start fertilizing anytime.

The first application of this season should be a formulation high in nitrogen for growth.  For inorganic farms, 15-5-25 or 10-5-20 would be a good choice. You also want to make sure you apply a good dose per tree.

I use the rule of thumb of approximately 1 pound per tree well spread out to the estimated root radius.  Here is a fertilizer applicator idea/

Organic farms should follow the same rule using a well-balanced organic fertilizer.  Remember, you will need to apply approximately double the amount of fertilizer to achieve the equivalent amount of nitrogen.

Hope this helps and motivates everyone to fertilize. The most common problem I see on coffee farms is poor nutrition due to a lack of fertilizer.
 –Submitted by Bob Smith

Coffee Bills before the 2018 Legislative Session – Update

HB1757—Fair Labeling for RTD Coffee

This bill was drafted and introduced by South Kona Representative Richard Creagan and would make the labeling of ready-to-drink (“RTD”) coffee products such as “KonaRed Kona Blend” and Royal Mills’ “Hawaiian Kona Premium Coffee” subject to the same labeling requirements that currently apply to roasted and instant coffee.  With overwhelming favorable written testimony from more than 50 supporters and in-person KCFA Testimony in Honolulu, HB1757 was favorably passed through 3 committee hearings and a floor vote in the House of Representatives.  Passing over to the Senate, the bill was assigned to a single committee—the Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health Committee, chaired by Sen. Rosalyn Baker of Maui.  KCFA members and supporters—along with members of the Maui Coffee Association and others—called and sent emails requesting Sen. Baker to schedule a hearing on HB1757.  However, we received a report that Sen. Baker said she intended to kill the bill by not giving it a hearing because of “concerns” expressed in written testimony by the HDOA—and she did kill it.  None of those HDOA “concerns” make sense and appear to demonstrate a continuing history of support for large commercial interests by the HDOA over the interests of coffee farmers.

Kona Hills Issues—HR197 and HCR227

These 2 identical resolutions (which focus on the plans of Kona Hills, LLC–see the article in last month’s KCFA newsletter) have been passed favorably through the House Agriculture and Finance Committees.  The title of the resolutions is:


The resolutions were prompted by the announced intentions of Kona Hills. Among the factual findings set forth in the resolutions concerning Kona Hills are: KH’s intention to develop a 2,000,000-tree coffee farm in Kealakekua; KH’s intention to introduce 5 new coffee varieties not currently farmed in Kona which would produce different flavor profiles from the heritage Kona coffee profile which has been developed by generations of Kona farmers; KH’s request for an exemption to the HDOA’s mandatory 1-year quarantine period to import 1,500,000 in-vitro coffee embryos from Costa Rica; and more. To read the full language of the resolutions—click here:
–Submitted by the Legislative Committee

QuickBooks for Farmers & Small Businesses
Presented in collaboration with Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture Program 2501, and AgriLogic Consulting, LLC
Thursday, April 5 • 9–11:30 a.m.
Hawai‘i Innovation Center, 117 Keawe St, Hilo, Hawai‘i Island (map)
Monday, April 23 • 6–8:30 p.m.
The Kohala Center, 65-1291A Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, Hawai‘i Island (apm)
The workshops will cover accounting basics and how to read P&L and balance sheets, as well as provide an introduction to QuickBooks to help attendees decide if the software is right for them. Representatives from The Kohala Center and Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center will be on hand to answer questions about their small business support programs. The cost to attend is $15 per person and advance registration is required. Visit koha.la/quickbooksintro for more information and to register.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

California Coffee Companies Must Add Cancer Warning Label

“Coffee companies in California must carry a cancer warning label because of a chemical produced while beans roast, a California judge tentatively ruled Wednesday.” The chemical is acrylamide, which is produced when food is cooked to high temperatures such as potato chips, French fries, and coffee. It is generally believed that acrylamide is produced in very small amounts when coffee is roasted and that the health benefits of coffee far outweigh the possible risks. However, the judge ruled that the “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.” This ruling applies only to California and requires all coffee to carry a cancer warning label. Here is the link to the article: https://www.yahoo.com/news/apnewsbreak-california-judge-coffee-needs-212748202.html

NPR responded with an article questioning whether the warning label is necessary: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/30/598348764/fact-check-calif-judge-rules-coffee-must-come-with-a-cancer-warning-but-should-i
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera

Farm Service Agency Microloans Cultivate Big Dreams on a Small Scale

Microloans with reduced requirements and simpler application procedures are helping small, niche, and beginning farmers and ranchers meet their goals. Apply for up to $50,000 to fund your farm or ranch operation. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/farmloans or your local FSA office.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

CBB Conference on April 25th in Kona

The USDA-Agricultural Research Service and University of Hawaii-CTAHR invite you to participate in the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Conference. This is an informational event where farmers, researchers, Cooperative Extension, and other agricultural professionals can gather and share their knowledge on managing this coffee pest.
Presentation topics will include:

  • CBB Control
  • Economics
  • Cultural Practices
  • CBB Ecology
  • and more!

Please join us! This event is free and open to all who are interested. Doors will remain open for participants throughout the event. We look forward to seeing you there!
Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-coffee-berry-borer-conference-registration-44378377923?utm_term=eventurl_text
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

 CBB Subsidy Program

The Department of Agriculture CBB Subsidy Program is currently offering 50% back on all original receipts for Beauvaria bassiana purchased between 7/1/16 and 6/30/17. The deadline to get these in is June 30, so while you’re scrambling to get all your tax info together, take advantage of this state support for your CBB IPM.  While the program application has a significant amount of questions on your farming and CBB IPM practices which are meant for researchers to support improving our methods, answering them is optional if you’re in a rush. Gwen Hicks has retired and Melanie Bondera is continuing the work. Click here to start your application online.  You can also email HDOA.CBB@hawaii.gov, call 808-323-7578 or stop by the office at the Captain Cook civic center Rm #7 for a paper application or with questions. Find us at our KCFA Expo table on April 6th!!
–Submitted by Melanie Bondera

A New Global Coffee Powerhouse

A Wall Street Journal article published last month gives a very interesting view of significant changes in the world’s coffee marketing business.  The article focuses on Joh. A Benckiser (“JAB”), described as a “secretive European holding company” that is “mashing together a fragmented [retail coffee] industry to create a caffeine-fueled global powerhouse.” JAB is seeking to challenge Nestle’s position as the world’s largest coffee marketer.

Of particular note to those who produce and sell geographic origin coffee (for example, “Kona Coffee”, “Maui Coffee”, “Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee”) is the recent acquisition by JAB of a series of high profile firms known for specializing in gourmet and origin-labeled coffees:

–in 2012 JAB bought California-based Peet’s Coffee
–In October 2015 Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters was bought by JAB’s new subsidiary Peet’s
–Less than a month later ownership of Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee was acquired
–In 2016 Vermont-based Keurig Green Mountain Coffee was purchased
–Other acquisitions or controlling interests include Chameleon Cold Brew and Blue Bottle Coffee

The article also describes JAB’s plans for expanded marketing of ready-to-drink (“RTD”) coffee through JAB-owned soft drink companies.

These currents in coffee marketing may well have long term effects on Kona coffee farmers and the marketing of our crop.  To read the WSJ article, click here.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

Brown Stink Bug -An Invasive Species on the Mainland

Hawaii has many problems with invasive species such as the coffee berry borer which are huge problems for our crops.  On the mainland there is one, which first showed up in 1996 in Pennsylvania, guaranteed to disgust all who come in contact with it. It is the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug – a relative of our Southern Green Stink Bug. As most of you already know, stinkbugs stink. To me they smell like cilantro. While our stinkbugs occasionally fly into the house, the brown mamorated stinkbugs swarm into houses by the tens of thousands. They prefer the indoor life through the fall, winter, and spring and then head outside in the summer to decimate crops of all kinds – trees, vegetables, and fruit.  Let’s hope that this bug doesn’t find Hawaii.
Link to article
–Submitted by Clare Wilson

Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor: clare@huahuafarm.com

Recipe: Lamb Ragu

2 lbs. lamb for stewing – such as the shoulder
3 sprigs rosemary
1 T fresh sage – roughly chopped
2 onions – diced
1 carrot – peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
1 cup coffee
2 cups dry red wine
vegetable oil

Trim and cut the lamb in approx. 1” cubes.  Heat a heavy pot over high heat and season the meat well.  In a tablespoon of vegetable oil, brown the lamb pieces
Add the onion and carrot.  Turn down the heat a bit and cook until the onions begin to brown.  Add the sage, rosemary and garlic. Stir and cook a few minutes longer.
Slowly add the wine, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add the coffee and tomatoes, stir to incorporate.  Bring to a simmer on the stove top and then cover and place in the oven at a preheated 275°F.  Let it cook for 2½ to 3 hours. The meat needs to be shreddable.
To finish the ragu – strain the sauce, set the meat and vegetables aside and place the liquid back in the pot – bring to a simmer and reduce.  Taste and season with S&P and a touch of butter. Place the shredded lamb and vegetables back in the sauce and enjoy.
Serve as is or on noodles.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Include your name and email address >> Email: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.