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February 2013 – The Independent Voice

NB- Only with the gentle urging of Newsletter Editor Clare Wilson does The Independent Voice get published monthly.  Thank you Clare!
************************************************************************************************   The Independent Voice
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                                                     February 2013
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA                                                              www.konacoffeefarmers.org           info@konacoffeefarmers.org


Message from President Smith
Aloha Ron Rowe
Petition to Governor to Repeal Labeling Law
Updated CBB IPM Recommendations
EXPO Report
CBB Task Force Nonprofit Corporation
News from the Hawaii Farmers Union United
Upcoming Events
Coffee Talk – Pruning Coffee Trees
Kona Brewers Festival
Kona Coffee Blossom Banquet
The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like
EDITOR:  Clare Wilson

Message from President Smith
The 7th Annual Meeting of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association took place beachside at Kahaluu Pavilion, in the afternoon.  We began with a tasty potluck and warm camaraderie, followed by a review of accomplishments for 2012-2013.  Elections followed.  Nominated for the Board for 2013-2014 were Colehour Bondera of Kalani Ohana Farm , Bruce Corker of Rancho Aloha, Christine Coleman of Buddhas Sanctuary, Anita Kelleher of Blue Corner Farm and Kurt Schweickhard of Pukalana Farm.  The Nominees were unanimously elected joining continuing directors Thomas Butler of Paradise Found Farm, Louise Hanna of Luther Coffee, Mary Lou Moss of CuppaKona Farm and Cecelia Smith of Smithfarms. A brief Board Meeting was then held to elect officers for 2013-2014 as follows:  Cecelia Smith- President, Mary Lou Moss- Vice President, Thomas Butler- Secretary and Kurt Schweickhard- Treasurer.

 Mary Lou sharing a smile with Tom Greenwell, Paul Uster (Master of Ceremonies) in Background

A huge Mahalo to our super KCFA Volunteer, and Vice President Mary Lou Moss.
  Whether organizing our Annual Meeting, our EXPO, the KCFA Annual Benefit Dinner and more, Mary Lou epitomizes the ideal with her tireless and yet, cheerful ongoing energy.  Mary Lou is always willing to take on the next project and she never even mentions the many hours behind the scenes before an event. The KCFA owes its deepest gratitude to Mary Lou for her efforts and her always successful accomplishments.  Frankly without Mary Lou, the KCFA would have great ideas but limited accomplishment.  Thanks to Mary Lou (and to husband Chuck) for always stepping up for the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. She’s just awesome!
Cecelia Smith, President
Kona Coffee Farmers Association

Aloha Ron Rowe
Ron Rowe, who with his wife Joanie was a strong supporter of Kona Coffee and founder members of the KCFA, passed away peacefully on December 17, 2012, due to complications from leukemia, with his family by his side.  A memorial service was held on January 12 at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, where he married Joanie in 1970, and Christine and Ken Sheppard attended both as a tribute to their Hawaii neighbor Ron, and also to represent the KCFA.

Ron was a former Laguna Beach Fire Captain, serving the Fire Service for 33 years, and among the more than 100 attendees at the memorial service were many of his fellow fire officers. His “retirement” was spent running Rowes View Kona coffee farm in Honaunau. There they turned a rundown hillside farm into a beautiful and thriving business.
Ron was also an amateur genealogist who researched his family’s lineage and took up the bagpipes as a way of honoring his proud Scottish heritage. A Scottish piper played at his service, and moving eulogies were given by his younger brother Steve, his fire service friend Jeff Priest, and his son-in-law John Jameson.  Ron was affable, funny, caring, giving, and described as gentle by all who knew him to the end. His family will miss him greatly and were blessed to have known him for so long.
He is survived by his wife Joanie; his children Laughn Rowe, Becky Jameson and Jenny Horstman; four grandchildren; his brother Steve Rowe and his sister Tina Torres.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to make his beloved ocean cleaner at www.oneworldocean.com or www.surfrider.org
Submitted by Christine Sheppard

Coffee Farmers and Coffee Consumers Petition Governor Abercrombie to Work for Repeal of Hawaii’s 10% Coffee Blend Labeling Law

At the KCFA Coffee Expo on January 25, the Legislative Committee circulated a petition to Governor Neil Abercrombie asking for his support in repealing the Hawaii 10% Coffee Blend Law.  One hundred and fifty-three coffee farmers and coffee consumers signed the petition which contained the following message:
Dear Gov. Abercrombie:
This year marks the 21st year since Hawaii’s 10% Coffee Blend Labeling statute (HRS 486-120.6) became effective.  FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES HAWAII HAS BEEN THE ONLY REGION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TO ALLOW THE USE OF THE NAME OF ONE OF ITS HERITAGE/SPECIALTY CROPS ON PACKAGES WITH ONLY 10% GENUINE CONTENT.  This law is an embarrassment to the State of Hawaii and an economic burden to Hawaii’s coffee farmers.  We ask you to take the lead in working with the Kona Coffee Farmers Association to repeal this law and restore integrity to the reputation of Hawaii-grown coffee.”

Enclosed with the original petition mailed to the Governor were copies of the following documents intended to provide background on the issue: (1) KCFA’s Policy Statement on the 10% Blend Law; (2) Marvin Feldman’s study entitled, “Economic Effects of Blending Kona Coffee—A Preliminary Study”; and (3) a reprint of the article entitled “$20,000/Year Out of Your Pocket?” from the January 2013 KCFA Newsletter.

Pending in the 2013 Legislative Session are two measures which seek reform of the 10% Coffee Blend Labeling Law:  SB558/HB213 are companion bills introduced as part of the Hawaii State Association of Counties’ “2013 Legislative Package”. Among other things, these companion bills would set a minimum 75% Hawaii-grown content in order to use Hawaii place names on the labeling of any “blend” containing both Hawaii-grown and non-Hawaii-grown agricultural products. In addition to coffee, this change in the law would apply Hawaii-grown macadamia nuts, tea, honey, vanilla and other agricultural products.

The second bill is HB355–introduced by Kailua-Kona Rep. Nicole Lowen.  The bill would implement changes to the minimum % for Hawaii-grown coffee blends in two phases—on January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2016. The new minimum percentages are not yet specified in the bill.  Rep Lowen has indicated that she filed the bill because constituents expressed concerns to her about the current labeling law during last fall’s election campaign.

Consistent with the Governor’s repeated expressions of support for family farms and for the economic interests of farmers, we look to the Governor to support these bills in the legislative process.
Submitted by the Legislative Committee

Updated CBB IPM Recommendations Now Online
Recently, KCFA sat down with CTAHR, HDOA, and USDA as well as SHAC and Tom Greenwell.   The group went through all of the scientific data as well as field experience and agreed upon a consistent message for IPM activities based on what we know right now.

Several things have changed:
1)     Fungus dosage has been increased to 1 quart (32 oz) per acre. This is based on USDA tests done in Keauhou showing that dosages of 21 oz or more have an effective kill rate that lasts at least 30 days.
2)      Traps do not effectively reduce the population and should only be used as monitoring devices.  However, they may be helpful in determining spikes in beetle movement.
3)      The most effective technique is still stripping all cherry/raisins/pinheads off the trees.  Ideally, this should be done prior to first flowering and pruning.  Mauka farms will face challenges with this and must determine an economic cutoff point for their harvest.
4)      The Thirty Trees sampling method taught by Luis Aristizabal at the KCFA sponsored workshop last August is the preferred method for determining when to spray fungus.  If you missed the workshop, we hope to have him back out here soon.  Or contact CTAHR with questions.
As you can see here, we still don’t have any easy answers for solving this challenging problem.  However, we learned valuable lessons last year.  Notably, that when the rains return, we can expect rapid beetle migration into the trees.  Watch for this and SPRAY.  Tell your neighbors too.  Another lesson, don’t stop sampling or spraying during harvest.  We must make new habits that last year round. UPDATED IPM is here: http://tinyurl.com/ap5hbgn
Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

On Friday, January 25, the buzz was going!  The vendors were busy setting up their displays in anticipation of talking to lots of farmers and the KCFA volunteers were busy getting ready too. And, they were not disappointed.  We had over 300 in attendance at our 6th annual EXPO.  The EXPO provided a great opportunity for our farmers to connect with their vendors.

This year we had only one speaker and that was Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms.  He talked to the farmers about the state of the infestation and graciously shared his data and insight on what is happening. Key messages included that some farmers are making progress in limiting the damage, and some are not, current CBB damage levels are making it very hard or impossible to produce the upper grades of coffee (such as extra fancy or fancy) and that the current Kona coffee pricing level may not be sustainable in the long run unless the growers can provide cherry with lower levels of CBB infestation.

Many thanks to our over 30 volunteers who helped make the 6th annual EXPO a huge success. It takes a village to raise an EXPO.
Unfortunately, all was not well.  On Thursday evening prior to the opening of EXPO, approximately $800 (wholesale) of KCFA logo merchandise was stolen.  A report was filed with the police. Not only was this a community effort and service on our part, but apparently a charity as well.
Submitted by Mary Lou Moss

CBB Task Force Nonprofit Corporation Seats Board and Elects Officers

The CBB Task Force Nonprofit Corporation met through the University of Hawaii Polycom video conferencing system on January 30.  Members attended from University facilities in Honolulu and Hilo and the CTAHR conference facility in Kainaliu.  The Task Force formally seated a six member board representing the following organizations:
David Bateman, Kona Coffee Council;
David Case, Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Wayne Katayama, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association
Christopher Manfredi, Ka’u Farm Bureau
James Wayman, Hawaii Coffee Association
Wilford Yamasawa, Kona Young Farmers
Wayne Katayama was elected President, Jim Wayman Vice-President, David Case Secretary and David Bateman Treasurer.  The Task Force is still awaiting HDOA funding.
Submitted by David Case

News from the Hawaii Farmers Union United
The Hawaii Farmers Union United held its 2012 annual meeting January 29, 2013 at the Tavares Center in Pukalani, Maui, to elect a new president and report on 2012.  Vincent Mina, the Union’s Vice-President, was elected by acclamation as its President.

Mina recounted the Union’s achievements over the year just past, including the formation of three new HFUU chapters on Kauai, Oahu and Kona.  HFUU now has chapters on all four of the most populated Hawaiian Islands.
Mina announced HFUU had just certified a total membership of 239.  This is addition to the newly formed Oahu Chapter.  The Kona Chapter also added 10 new members during KCFA’s January 25th Coffee Expo.
In addition to Mina (Maui) as it’s President.  HFUU Board members now include the Presidents of its other chapters:  Ray Maki (Kauai), Treasurer; David Case (Kona), Secretary, and Moriah Smith (Oahu), Member.  The Board will soon appoint a Vice-President to fill the seat vacated with Mina’s election as President
Submitted by David Case

How to Prune Your Coffee Trees
Bob Smith will lead a “refresher” and “newbie” course on coffee pruning.  This KCFA Coffee Talk Presentation will be held at Bob Nelson’s Lehuula Farms 79-7350 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kainaliu on Saturday, February 9, 2013  from 9-11 am.

FREE to all KCFA members and $10 to all others that can be put towards a membership for KCFA.

This is great timing as we are waiting for the rainy season before pruning.

For more info: http://www.konacoffeefarmers.org or call 329-4035

Kona Brewers’ Festival
We have again been asked to participate in the 18th Annual Kona Brewer’s Festival on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Since KCFA’s inception, we have participated in the Brew Fest by having a booth and offering samples of 100% Kona Coffee to the attendees.  We realize that coffee is not the main focus of the Brew Fest (not even close), but they have 1,800 residents and visitors attending.  We are usually placed in a very visible location, so that’s a lot of exposure for 100% Kona Coffee!
KCFA is given 4 free tickets for the workers of the booth.  Mary Lou needs 4 committed volunteers to work the booth on Saturday, March 9.  If you are interested, please call Mary Lou at 329-4035 to find out what is involved in working the booth – first come first serve.

Kona Coffee Blossom Banquet

NOT ONLY MARK YOUR CALENDAR, BUT SAVE THE DATE!  KCFA’S annual Kona Coffee Blossom Banquet is Saturday, April 20 at the Courtyard Marriott at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel from 5 to 9 p.m. Our banquet committee is already hard at work planning a fun filled evening for you, so come join us.   There will be silent auction items as well as live auction items. We will again have David Reese-Thomas as our auctioneer. No telling what the surprise live auction item will be this year, but be assured it will be good!  There will be 3 different $100 cash card raffles, restaurant gift certificates and other fun give-aways. Come join us, you’ll be glad you did.

Tickets may be purchased on-line or call Mary Lou Moss @ 329-4035 to arrange for pickup.  Go to www.konacoffeefarmers.org and click on KCFA Store.

Early Bird tickets are $45 each and will go up to $55 on April 1.  Get your tickets now and save $10 each.

The Case for Drinking as much coffee as You Like
Excerpts from Atlantic.com article.  Complete article with supporting links here:  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/11/the-case-for-drinking-as-much-coffee-as-you-like/265693/

“What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can,” says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. He’s even developed a metric for monitoring your dosage: If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back on your last cup of the day. From there, he says, “If you drink that much, it’s not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot.”

Officially, the American Medical Association recommends conservatively that “moderate tea or coffee drinking likely has no negative effect on health, as long as you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle.” That is a lackluster endorsement in light of so much recent glowing research. Not only have most of coffee’s purported ill effects been disproven — the most recent review fails to link it the development of hypertension — but we have so, so much information about its benefits. We believe they extend from preventing Alzheimer’s disease to protecting the liver. What we know goes beyond small-scale studies or limited observations. The past couple of years have seen findings, that, taken together, suggest that we should embrace coffee for reasons beyond the benefits of caffeine, and that we might go so far as to consider it a nutrient.

That there were no major differences in risk reduction between regular and decaf coffee suggests there’s something in it, aside from its caffeine content, that could be contributing to these observed benefits. It also demonstrates that caffeine was in no way mitigating coffee’s therapeutic effects. Of course, what we choose to add to coffee can just as easily negate the benefits — various sugar-sweetened beverages were all significantly associated with an increased risk of diabetes. A learned taste for cream and sugar (made all the more enticing when they’re designed to smell like seasonal celebrations) is likely one of the reasons why we associate coffee more with decadence than prudence.


“Coffee and caffeine have been inexorably intertwined in our thinking, but truth is coffee contains a whole lot of other stuff with biological benefits,” said Martin. And most concerns about caffeine’s negative effects on the heart have been dispelled. In June, a meta-analysis of ten years of research went so far as to find an inverse association between habitual, moderate consumption and risk of heart failure. The association peaked at four cups per day, and coffee didn’t stop being beneficial until subjects had increased their daily consumption to beyond ten cups.

Caffeine might also function as a pain reliever. A study from September suggested as much when its authors stumbled across caffeinated coffee as a possible confounding variable in its study of the back, neck, and shoulder pains plaguing office drones: Those who reported drinking coffee before the experiment experienced less intense pain.


So aside from caffeine, just what are you getting in a cup, or two, or six? Thousands of mostly understudied chemicals that contribute to flavor and aroma, including plant phenols, chlorogenic acids, and quinides, all of which function as antioxidants. Diterpenoids in unfiltered coffee may raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. And, okay, there’s also ash which, to be fair, is no more healthful than you would think — though it certainly isn’t bad for you.


Nothing can be all good, and there is still information working against coffee — in October, The Atlantic reported on a study from the health professionals cohort that suggested a link between excessive coffee consumption and glaucoma. “The current recommendation is that if somebody’s not drinking coffee, you don’t tell them to start,” said Bhupathiraju.

But she agrees that drinking coffee, and more of it, does appear to be beneficial. The evidence remains overwhelmingly in coffee’s favor. Yes, it was observational, but the study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at hundreds of thousands of men and women and found this bottom line result: people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn’t.

And the more they drank, the longer they lived. If you’re into that sort of thing.