May 25, 2019
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February 2017 The Independent Voice

 The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association  
           February 2017

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA

2017 KCFA Annual Membership Meeting
Legislative Update
Coffee Pruning (+ More) Workshop, Feb.11th
SOQ Program offers Marketing RFP
CTAHR 2016 Draft CBB Recommendations
KFCA Speaks to Japanese and Japanese-Americans
French Authorities May Ban Use of Brand Name
The Independent Voice Travels Far
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

2017 KCFA Annual Membership Meeting 
A beautiful Sunday at Kahaluu Beach Pavilion. Elections for 2017-2018 were held and Suzanne Shriner was elected President, Sandra Scarr was elected V-President, Jim Monk elected to Treasurer and Karen Zulkowski to Secretary. The new Board also consists of the following Directors for 2017-2018: Chris Coleman, Kay Dixon, Allan Frank, Chet Gardiner, Greg Knowles, Mike McMullen, Jim Monk, Tari Sparks, and Cecelia Smith.

Photos here
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Legislative Update

 HB256 COFFEE LABELING REFORM: On Friday, January 27, 2017, the House Agriculture Committee passed House Bill 256 with a 7-0 favorable vote.  This bill was introduced by Kona Representatives Richard Creagan and Nicole Lowen, and 9 others.  It provides for (1) a minimum of 51% Hawaii-grown coffee in “Hawaii Coffee Blends”; and (2) identification on the label of the origin of foreign-grown coffees in the packages.
 We thank the many KCFA members who submitted written testimony in support of the bill to the Agriculture Committee.  There were 28 written testimonies in support—8 in opposition from the Honolulu blenders and their allies. The written testimony sent to the Agriculture Committee makes fascinating reading.  Go to
 HB256 next goes to the House Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee.  It is very important for Coffee farmers to again submit written testimony to the CPC Committee.  To do that, please go to the State Legislature’s website ( and then go through the steps indicated for you to receive email “Hearing Notification” for HB256.  When this is done, you will receive email notification of the date and time of any hearing on the bill.  Please send your email testimony through the Legislature’s website at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing.  We need to make our voices heard.  Testimony need not be lengthy. But it is best to send individualized testimony.

SAMPLE TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF HB256—Relating to Coffee Labeling

Dear Chair ___________ and Members of the ___________ Committee: 
I ask that the Committee to support the adoption of HB256.
These 2 straightforward changes have been requested in formal resolutions addressed to the State Legislature from the Hawaii County Council (Resolution 501-14), the 2016 Hawaii County Democratic Convention, and the 2016 State Democratic Convention.  As these resolutions (and the Democratic Party’s 2017 package of of legislative priorities) recognize, Hawaii needs to protect the economic interests of its coffee farmers and the reputation and integrity of their crops.

HB256 will address these problems by requiring (1) a minimum of 51% genuine Hawaii-grown coffee in Hawaii coffee blends and (2) identification on the label of the origin of the foreign-grown coffees in the packages. 
In 2007 the Legislature made a factual finding that the current law which allows the marketing of 10% Hawaii Coffee Blends “causes fraud and confusion”.

For more than 25 years Hawaii coffee farmers have suffered economic losses and the reputations of Hawaii coffees have been damaged because State law permits the use of Hawaii coffee names on packages containing 90% foreign-grown coffee. 
For more than 25 years Hawaii has been the only region in the world to permit the use of its regional names in labeling one of its heritage crops (coffee) with only 10% genuine content.

I am a coffee farmer in the Kona region in Hawaii County and I submit this written testimony in STRONG SUPPORT of HB256.

Respectfully submitted,
[Name of Farm and Location][Name]


 HB186 EXTENDING THE HDOA CBB SUBSIDY PROGRAM: This bill was also passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on Friday, January 27.  HB186 will extend the Hawaii Department of Agriculture-administered subsidy program for Botanigard and Mycotrol for two additional years through June 30, 2021, and provide for additional funding for the program. This bill has been sent on from the Agriculture Committee to the House Finance Committee for consideration. Please also go through the same steps for hearing notification and submission of supportive testimony for HB186.

EXTENSION OF CURRENT HDOA COFFEE GRADE STANDARDS: On March 7, 2017, at 9:00 am at the West Hawaii Civic Center, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing on its proposal to extend the “sunset date” for the current grade standards. If the HDOA’s proposed amendments are not adopted, the current standards will expire or “sunset” on June 30, 2017. The current grade standards were put in place in to assist coffee farmers while CBB mitigation measures are developed. Under the HDOA proposed amendments the current standards—which provide economic benefit to farmers by significantly increasing the quantity of our coffee that can be labeled as “Kona”—will remain in place through June 30, 2021. Please provide in-person testimony or written testimony in support of the HDOA proposal. 
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee

 Annual Pruning Workshop Coming Up
      Saturday, February 11, 2017

          A just pruned 100 year old coffee tree
KCFA will be hosting the annual pruning workshop on Saturday 2/11.  Kona farmers Bob Nelson and Bob Smith will be presenting on both Kona Style and Beaumont-Fukunaga methods. In addition, CBB expert Luis Aristizabal will briefly discuss pruning techniques and agronomic practices for beetle reduction.  Andrea Kawabata from CTAHR will cover soil sampling for tree health. As always, there will be a lot of information for both new farmers and experienced hands as well.

Registration opens at 8:30 and the class is at 9am at Lehu’ula farm, 79-7350 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kainaliu.  All are welcome. Free to KCFA members, $10 to non-members (which can be applied to the $25 dues).  Bring a chair if you experience discomfort in standing.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Seal of Quality (SOQ) Program Issues RFP
Any of you who have good ideas about how to market the Seal of Quality Program should check out this RFP. It provides funds of up to $40,000..
Aloha SOQ Members,
Please forward the information to anyone who would be interested in submitting a proposal to promote the SOQ program in any form of marketing.

The entire RFP can be viewed here
 Yukashi Smith
Economic Development Specialist
State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Market Development Branch
 –Submitted by Chris Coleman


UH-CTAHR’s 2016 CBB Recommendations

On December 19, 2016, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association was sent a draft of UH-CTAHR’s “Recommendations for Coffee Berry Borer Integrated Pest Management in Hawaii – 2016”, along with a request for KCFA to review the draft and to provide an endorsement of the 2016 Recommendations.  A response was requested by January 13, 2017.

The draft was circulated for review and comment to KCFA Board members, KCFA Pest & Disease Committee Chair Bob Smith, and KCFA member Mike McMullen, a scientist retired from the University of Missouri’s agricultural extension program.

KCFA sent its response on January 8, 2017, stating:
“KCFA appreciates the funding from the USDA and the State of Hawaii for CBB research and for the development of mitigation recommendations for farmers.  We also appreciate the use of the funding by CTAHR, PBARC, and HDOA in their efforts to develop a CBB mitigation strategy. In recognition of those efforts, KCFA endorses the draft 2016 Recommendations document—with a request that the attached comments and suggestions be circulated to those who contributed to the 2016 draft and to those who may work on a future edition of the Recommendations.”

To review the draft 2016 Recommendations document, click here.  To review the KCFA comments and suggestions on the draft, click here.  If KCFA members have additional comments and suggestions that may assist with development future recommendations, please let us know.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

KCFA Speaks to Japanese and Japanese-Americans
In July 2016, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture announced a “Buy Local, It Matters” campaign with a radio program on KZOO Radio (AM 1210 MHz), which can be heard on Oahu and online.  The program is re-broadcast in Japan.

The campaign targets Japanese and Japanese-Americans, both in Hawaii and in Japan.  The campaign aims to educate and promote awareness of agriculture in Hawaii.  Agricultural organizations were invited to participate; KCFA accepted the invitation and nominated Sandra Scarr as spokesperson. 

Ten-minute radio interviews were conducted in English and translated into Japanese by the bi-lingual interviewer.  In early November, Sandra was interviewed about KCFA’s role in protecting and promoting 100% Kona coffee, as the coffee farmers’ organization. 

She explained the 90% foreign coffee in so-called Kona blends, and the consumer deception they are.  Details about the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival were provided, and listeners were invited to come over to Kona to enjoy the many events.

“I am glad that KCFA was invited and that we could share our story with a Japanese audience.”
–Submitted by Sandra Scarr

French authorities may ban the use of the brand name Café Crème for cigars

January 31, 2017 – “COPENHAGEN, Denmark – According to French media, the French Ministry of Health and Ministry of Budget are expected to announce in the near future that they consider the use of Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s Café Crème brand name for cigars to be a violation of the French Public Health Code.”

Link to complette article here:

The Independent Voice Travels Far

Last month, KCFA received the following Email from a reader. The blog that is mentioned is a list of the pros and cons of drinking coffee with references for each item. I think you will enjoy reading it.
——- Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Information on Coffee
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 02:28:59 -0800
From: Jacky Miller <>

Dear Editor,
I was searching the web for information on coffee and saw your great post here:
I noticed you mentioned in your post, and just wanted to give you a heads up that I recently wrote a blog post you might like. 
It’s an up-to-date, detailed 7,000-word guide on 36 health benefits and side effects of coffee – a balanced view according to science.
If this is something you’d be interested in, here is the link to the blog post:
This is completely free and if you like it, all I ask is for you to mention the article on your site.
Either way, keep up the great work!
 –Submitted by Clare Wilson

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