July 17, 2019
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December 2013 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice

                        Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                            December 2013
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA  www.konacoffeefarmers.org                           info@konacoffeefarmers.org

Legislative Update
10% Coffee Blend Migrates to Ka`u
Freight Savings at FedEx
Hula Daddy Honored
Xmas Ideas from the KCFA Store
Automatic KCFA Membership Notices
7th Annual Kona Coffee EXPO
Consumers Want Information
KCFA Annual General Membership Meeting
Recipe – Kona Coffee Bars
Editor- Clare Wilson


                                    Mele Kalikimaka and a Hauoli Makahiki Hou to all!                                                                                       poinsettias in bloom in South Kona

Legislative Update 

1—Proposed Coffee Standards Amendments—Following the October 10 hearing in Kona at which KCFA members expressed concerns about adverse effects on coffee farmers from a number of the proposed amendments, the KCFA made an inquiry to the HDOA as to the status.  The Department responded that it is working on a “post public hearing report” which “might” be presented to the State Board of Agriculture at its November 26 meeting in Honolulu.  The hearing report was described by the Department as “a summary of the public hearing testimonies, comments and recommendations.  If necessary, some changes may be made to the proposed rules based on the testimonies, comments and recommendations.”  The Department gave no indication whether or not it will revise the initial proposal to address the adverse effects identified by KCFA.  By the end of November, we had received no information as to when the “post public hearing report” will be completed or as to the report’s contents.  As far as we have been able to determine, nothing on the Coffee Standards Amendments was submitted to the Board of Agriculture for consideration at a November 26 meeting.

 2—County Council GMO Limitation—Colehour has continued to communicate KCFA’s support for Margaret Wille’s Bill No. 113.  The Kona Chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union United has also testified in support of the bill.  On November 19, Bill No. 113 was passed by the County Council and sent to the Mayor.  The Mayor now has authority to sign the bill into law, or let the bill become law without his signature, or veto the bill.  If the bill is vetoed, it will be returned to the County Council for a vote on whether to override the veto. —-Submitted by the Legislative Committee


For more than 20 years the Honolulu coffee blenders have been deceptively marketing 10% Kona blends—and in the process taken money from the pockets of Kona coffee farmers and sent excess profits to their Mainland corporate owners. Now this misleading marketing practice has migrated to Hawaii Island’s Ka’u region [perhaps following the trail of the Coffee Berry Borer–another blight brought by the blenders with their imported green coffee?]. What do the farmers in Ka`u get out of this? Ka`u is a very important part of Hawaii’s history and they are willing to trade their valuable geographical identity to something that contains only 10% of their hard work? We know what the blender gets.

Take a look at these two links provided by an alert KCFA member:
http://www.hawaiicoffeecompany.com/royal-hawaiian/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2013/11/25/chef-alan-wong-partners-on-new-hawaii.html

The first link is to the online description of Hawaii Coffee Company’s new “Ka’u Blend”. Note the repeated references to “Ka’u” and “Hawaii” and “Hawaiian” coupled with the absence of any express indication that 90% of the contents is imported commodity coffee and the absence of any identification of the origin of that commodity coffee.

The second link is even more interesting. This promotional article published by Pacific Business News on November 25, 2013, contains not a single word that would indicate to a reader that the “new brand” contains anything other than Ka’u coffee—when in fact 90% of the contents is foreign-grown.

Hawaii Coffee Company is a wholly owned corporate subsidiary of Paradise Beverages, Hawaii’s largest distributor of alcoholic beverages. Paradise Beverages is, in turn, a wholly owned corporate subsidiary of Topa Equities, a California-based company that is one of the largest business conglomerates in the United States.

Go to:  https://www.konacoffeefarmers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Economic-Efforts-of-Blending-Kona.pdf

to read the preliminary analysis of economist Marvin Feldman which suggests that over the decades there have been millions in “excess profits” earned by Hawaii Coffee Company and other blenders from using the “Kona” name on packages of 90% non-Kona coffee. Those excess profits—year after year–have been added to the bottom line the of the Mainland owners of Topa Equities. Now by similarly using the “Ka’u” name to extract premium prices for what is essentially ordinary commodity coffee, Hawaii Coffee Company is seeking to build yet another stream of “excess profits” flowing from Hawaii to the Mainland.

“Perhaps the most disappointing element of the rollout of this new brand”, said Kona Coffee Farmers President Cecelia Smith, “is that Chef Alan Wong, a world renowned chef, who says on his website: ‘An important (and enjoyable) responsibility we have in the community is to serve as a link and advocate for local farmers, growers, ranchers and producers. This means, not only using their product, but also bringing greater awareness to the public’ has endorsed this misleading use of the “Ka’u” name and has agreed to the use of his name on the label. Why? Any reputable professional coffee cupper will acknowledge that what is special about Ka’u and Kona coffee cannot be tasted when mixed with 90% commodity coffee. Hawaii’s renowned restaurants and chefs should be featuring genuine Hawaii agricultural products; they should be supporting Hawaii’s farmers; and they should not be assisting the Honolulu blenders in passing off foreign coffee under Hawaii regional names.”

The Branding Committee encourages KCFA members to send Chef Wong an email note indicating your disappointment. contact@alanwongs.com Submitted by the Branding Committee

FedEx Members’ Benefit – Freight Savings

One of the many advantages of being a member of KCFA is the Freight Savings Plan from FedEx – great discounts for a needed service.  See here for the current rates.


KCFA Members’ Coffee Business Operations Win Two Awards

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, owned by KCFA members Karen and Lee Patterson, has recently received two awards for their on-farm coffee processing and retail operations.

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii has named Hula Daddy (www.huladaddy.com) as recipient of its Ho’oklea Award for Island of Hawaii Retail Merchant of the Year in recognition of the coffee retail operation located on the Hula Daddy farm on Mamalahoa Highway in Holualoa. 

In addition, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Master Roaster Laura Ross, was awarded the Ho’okela Award as Retail Employee of the Year. “We have always known how special Laura is, we are glad to see other people recognizing her too.” said Karen Paterson, owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee.

Congratulations to Karen, Lee, and Laura!
–Submitted by Mary Lou Moss

Xmas Ideas from your KCFA Store 

santaw.packageSomething for everyone on your LIST! Aunties, Uncles and even distant cousins! Support your KCFA with your hard earned Kona Coffee dollars and give unique gifts this year!

gold starKCFA Sling Bags– Light weight and So Eco-friendly! Capable of carrying 40 lbs.  Great for the grocery store, farmers markets and even for interisland travel! Packs up teeny-tiny when not in use. Dark green with KCFA Seal! A must have for $14 each or XMAS Special ONLY– buy 5 and get the 6th FREE!

gold starKCFA Ball Caps– Cool Moss Green with KCFA Seal and “Get Real- 100% Kona Coffee”, Sturdy and Adjustable $18

gold starHandmade Unique Artisan Coffee “Tote” Bags– Beautiful fabric and colors and design, lined inside w/outside pocket. Perfect gift and One-of-a-kind. Very Limited supply $30

santa and bagBargain Santa Claus Sale! KCFA Sturdy Burlap Bags- Suitable for Hanging! and of course for Coffee use- Now only $2.65! These strong bags hold firewood, rocks, avocados, bananas, months of newspapers, etc. Indispensable actually! (A 2nd order has arrived too quickly-storage issues-so get yours today at the bargain price-until Xmas) Login first and then go to the STORE, to get this fabulous Member price.


Reminder!KCFA Memberships Have Gone Automatic!

Don’t ignore the Annual Membership Reminder in your email.  You get a warning the week before and then the day of and then trouble. You will lose your KCFA Benefits! –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

KCFA 7th Annual Coffee EXPO- SAVE THE DATE!
January 31, 2014- Old Airport Pavilion from 9-3

A great day for everyone!

Speakers: Lisa Keith from PBARC on the 1M$ Grant from Sen. Hirono, Tom Greenwell on “The State of the Infestation-Update” and Ken Sheppard, ASHE Industries and Roaster Display.

Vendors include: Bacon Universal, Capt. Cook Trading, Coffea Consulting, Complete Art Service Hawaii, Copy Post Plus, CPS, Garlic/Mosquito barrier, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Hawaii SBDC Network, Makua Coffee Company, Master Gardener, NRCS Natural Resources Conservation, PBARC, Premiun Inc. Distributors for Pacific Bag, Produce to Product Marketing, SWCD Soil & Water Conservation, USDA Rural Development, USDA Farm Service, etc.


Two valuable volunteers who helped during the Holualoa Village Coffee and Art Stroll were left off the list in the previous KCFA newsletter.  So here is a special mahalo to Laura Nelson & Cindy Staats.Submitted by Mary Lou Moss

Consumers Want Information

A study based on research done at Cornell University finds that consumers crave information and rely on labels to keep them informed on products.  An article about this study can be found at http://www.foodmanufacturing.com/news/2013/11/cornell-research-shows-consumers-want-supplementary-data-food-products?et_cid=3620400&et_rid=207614659&location=top

The laboratory study of 351 shoppers found consumers willing to pay a premium when a product label says “free of” something the consumers consider negative, such as “free of a food dye”.  More interesting is that even more people will buy that product and pay a premium if that same label also includes information about the risks of ingesting such dyes.

“What did surprise us was the effect of supplementary information,” said Harry M. Kaiser, a Cornell professor whose field of study includes product labeling. “Even seemingly negative information was valued over just the label itself.”

When provided more information about ingredients, consumers are more confident about their decisions and value the product more, Kaiser said.

Applying this study to Kona coffee, perhaps adding “Free of foreign coffee” on the front of a label and “Foreign coffee, mixed with 100% Kona Coffee, degrades the taste of 100% Kona.”
—Submitted by Mark Shultise


Kahaluu BeachKCFA’s Annual General Membership Meeting
January 12, 2014 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Kahaluu Beach Pavilion- Alii Drive
Mark your Calendars! Annual Meeting and pot luck at beautiful Kahaluu Beach. Election of officers for 2014-2015. All Members are encouraged to attend and hear a summary of the past year’s events and elect the Officers for another successful year.

Kona Coffee Bars II

1 cup strong brewed hot coffee
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup margarine
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder

2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. brewed coffee
2 tbsp. butter
Toasted macadamia nuts – chopped

Combine and set aside until slightly cooled, coffee, cinnamon, raisins and baking soda.  Mix together margarine, eggs, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add coffee mixture. Blend.  Spread in 10”X 15” pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. While warm, prepare icing and frost: Mix together sugar, butter and just enough coffee to make frosting easy to spread.  Sprinkle with chopped, toasted macadamia nuts.  cut into squares.  Yield:  60 squares.

I got this recipe from the Kona Coffee Cookbook by the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (1997). This recipe was submitted by Lois Haigh.

I have made this recipe several times and it has become a favorite for us!
—Submitted by Mary Lou Moss

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