August 20, 2019
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July 2014 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                                             
July 2014
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA                                                    

Legislative Update
KCFA Beauvaria Bassiana Grant Update
U.S. Supreme Court – POM Wonderful Wins
Beware of Scammers
Kona Coffee – $79.99/lb.!!!
What’s in Your Soil?
Coffee and the Civil War
Interesting Kona Coffee Brand Names
Recipe – Roasted Marshmallow Shots
Editor- Clare Wilson

Legislative update

DISCLOSURE OF THE 90% IN 10% COFFEE BLENDS:  One of the top priorities of the KCFA Legislative Committee for the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session arises from the following fact–nowhere on labels of 10% Hawaii coffee blends is there disclosure to consumers that 90% of the contents is foreign-grown coffee. At the request of the KCFA, bills were introduced in the 2014 Legislative Session to require that disclosure–SB2354 (introduced by Sen. Ruderman, with 6 co-sponsors) and HB1515 (introduced by Rep. Lowen). Although neither bill was adopted, we will seek reintroduction and passage in the 2015 session. This measure is a very small (but an important) step toward fair labeling of Hawaii-grown coffee. At least consumers who carefully read the small print on labels will know that 90% of Kona Blends is imported foreign-grown commodity coffee.  In this election season, the Legislative Committee encourages KCFA members ask legislative candidates to pledge to introduce and work for passage of this measure. Each of us has repeatedly encountered consumers who have purchased Kona blends with the belief that they had bought Kona coffee.  We need to get that information to the candidates.

CANDIDATE FORUM ON AGRICULTURAL ISSUES:  On Wednesday, July 23, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Konawaena Elementary School Cafeteria in Kealakekua there will be a forum on agricultural issues for the candidates for State House of Representatives, Districts 5 and 6.  The forum is jointly sponsored by Kona Coffee Farmers Association, the Kona County Farm Bureau and the Kona Chapter of the Farmers Union.  Please make every effort to attend.  We need to impress on the candidates that farmers are voting members of the community–and that agricultural issues will be important in our voting decisions.
Submitted by the Legislative Committee

KCFA Beauvaria Bassiana Grant Update!
95 KCFA Grant vouchers for a total of 702.3 acres have been handed out -so far!  If you have already attended one of the KCFA’s refresher Workshops, you are enrolled in the Grant and eligible for your next Voucher, 30 days after your last.  Thanks to Colehour Bondera and the entire KCFA Board for their efforts in giving all Kona Coffee farmers a real chance to save on Botanigard and Mycotrol.
Last Scheduled KCFA Workshop for B. bassiana Voucher Eligibility  is:
Wednesday, July 16 from 1:30-3:15 pm at CTAHR, (mauka of the Aloha Theater).
It is mandatory that you or your Farm Manager attend this KCFA sponsored Refresher Workshop in order to get the 50% off Voucher, given to the KCFA in a Grant from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. When you sign in, please give Farm Owners name.
Note: Directly after the B. bassiana workshop at 3:30 pm, the Sprayer Hui component of the KCFA Grant project will meet, giving farmers shared access to mist sprayers for B. bassiana application. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Rules and Procedures of the KCFA Grant are here for your review. Click below to view:

Please note that your actual KCFA B. bassiana Voucher can only be activated after you have participated in one of the KCFA Workshops!
Come a little early on Wednesday to assure yourself a seat! Mahalo
 –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of POM Wonderful

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Pom Wonderful vs. Coca-Cola and ruled that marketers of blended drink products can be held liable for damages caused by deceptive labeling of blends. [NOTE: the lead article in last month’s Independent Voice described the oral arguments made by Pom Wonderful and Coca-Cola to the Court on April 21]

The background on the case is:  Pom Wonderful, a California-based company that markets genuine pomegranate juice, sued Coca-Cola for damages arising from deceptive marketing of a product labeled as a “Pomegranate Blueberry” drink.  The label for the drink prominently shows pictures of a pomegranate and blueberries, but in fact the beverage contains no more the 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice.  99.4% of the product consists of less expensive apple and grape juices.

Pom Wonderful alleges that Coca-Cola’s labeling deceives consumers and causes economic damage to Pom Wonderful’s business.

In its defense, Coca-Cola had argued that because it complies with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it cannot be held liable for damages even if the labels deceive consumers.

In its unanimous 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court held that Pom Wonderful may recover monetary damages under the Lanham Act, a federal fair trade practices law that authorizes claims arising from false or misleading product descriptions. The Court directly rejected Coca-Cola’s argument that compliance with FDA regulations would bar claims for misleading labeling under the Lanham Act.

This is a significant decision with broad national application to deceptive advertising and labeling practices.

For Kona coffee producers, the Pom Wonderful decision is of particular interest. For years the Honolulu blenders have prominently and repeatedly emblazoned the “Kona” name on packages of 10% blends–without any disclosure that 90% of the contents is imported foreign-grown commodity grade coffee.  For years these blenders have contended that because their labels comply with the requirements of Hawaii’s coffee labeling laws, they are not liable for damages even if consumers are routinely mislead into believing the product they have purchased is Kona coffee.  In the Pom Wonderful decision, the Supreme Court has made clear that the 10% blenders will not be able to assert Hawaii’s coffee labeling law as a defense to Lanham Act claims for damages resulting from deceptive labeling.
Submitted by the Branding Committee

Scammers Are Active Now!
There are EXCEPTIONS to each listed below but red flag  these:

An email asking about your products and cost written to your website address (why aren’t they reading?)

Recent Scammer Example:
Am xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, but running one of my stores here in Tokyo. I will like to place an order from you and i am registered with a shipping company whom I have used severally without any delay nor problems with my goods.  Before I place these order, i will like to know if i am able to place the order and most important:

1) If i can make payment with my credit cards Visa/Mc because that is the only way i am set for payment for now without no delay.

2) I don’t place online orders, can i e-mail my order then you can give me a quote here and make charges to my cards manually on your end ( Credit Card Terminal) Pls Clarify.

Looking forward to your swift response then we can proceed further as soon as possible..

 A big order that seems too good to be true I need about 200 bags.
Phrasing which seems odd. Probably not an original English speaker? (see above)
Asking about an irregular shipping method or shipper- not what most of your customers ask for (see above).  Also glance at the address, to be sure looks legitimate.
 Asking if you take charge cards (your website will say you do or do not- why the question?) EX: Please also let me know the form of payment you accept please get back to me so that we can continue thank you and look forward to hear from you soon
 Anyone who does not seem to want to use the usual channels should be suspect. Of course 99% of the inquiries you get are legitimate. Just don’t waste your time and raise your hopes on the scammers!
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Kona Coffee Price Report from the Mainland: $79.99/LB.
Retired Keopu Mauka coffee farmer and KCFA member Dexter Washburn reports that Kona Extra Fancy whole bean coffee is being sold by “Market Spice” in the Pike Place Market in Seattle for $79.99 per pound.
If competitive market principles are in play, it should be assumed that farm gate prices for cherry, parchment, and green for the 2014 Kona crop will reflect the significant increase in retail prices for Kona coffee on the Mainland.
–Submitted by the Branding Committee

Soil food web – opening the lid of the black box

by Bart Anderson, originally published by Energy Bulletin  | DEC 7, 2006

Photo: Soil Foodweb International)
Fungal Strands in Compost:
Not all the life in the soil food web is microscopic. Some fungi can be seen with the naked eye, as can earthworms and arthropods (such as insects, spiders and centipedes).

Fungal vs bacterial soils

Moving back from the microscopic view, the distinction between fungi and bacteria has practical consequences for farmers and gardeners. Different plant communities have different ratios of fungi to bacteria.
Bacteria dominate in early succession communities such as bare earth, weeds and vegetable. For flowers and most row crops, fungi and bacteria are in equal balance. Late succession communities such as shrubs and trees are dominated by fungi.
Knowing the bacteria/fungal ratio for the crop you’re raising, you can employ different practices to encourage one or the other. Tilling or digging, for example, favors bacteria over fungi. (Most farmland is bacteria dominated.) Ingham suggests applying compost that is right for the plants you are growing, such as fungal-dominated compost around fruit trees (very fungal around conifers) and bacterial for grass. To build soil, she says, encourage fungi.

Predators, engineers, taxicabs and shredders

The larger organisms play a variety of roles in the soil food web.
Many are predators who keep prey populations in balance.
Some of the large organisms, especially earthworms, are “engineers”, improving the architecture of the soil by creating air passages and hallways with their burrowing.
Micro-arthropods are “taxi cabs” for the less mobile smaller organisms such as bacteria, helping them spread throughout the soil and onto the leaf surfaces. In this way, they bring bacteria to where the nutrients are.
Andrew Moldenke points out that some arthropods shred dead plant parts, so that the nutrients become accessible to bacteria.

(Photo: Soil Foodweb International)

Beneficial nematode:

Many species of nematodes (microcopic roundworms) in the soil are beneficial. This is an example of a nematode that feeds on bacteria. By eating the nitrogen-rich bacteria and then excreting excess nitrogen, the nematode returns nitrogen to the soil in a form which plants can use. Other species of nematode feed on fungi, on plant roots, or on other nematodes.

Restoring the soil food web

Unfortunately, scientific knowledge of the soil food web has only come in recent decades. We haven’t appreciated what the soil food web can do for us, and Ingham says that many of our common practices degrade it:
·        Compacting the soil.
·        Tilling, turning and digging.
·        Pollution.
·        Pesticides.
·        Synthetic fertilizers.
The degraded food web invites pests, disease and nutrient problems. In a vicious cycle, we attack the problems with chemical solutions which further degrade the food web.
The solution, according to Dr. Ingham, is to restore and enhance the soil biology. In her words:
“Over the last 50-60 years, the attitude has been to get rid of the bad guys through pesticides, not understanding that if you destroy the bad guys, you also get rid of the good guys. When we nuke soils and destroy life, what comes back are the bad guys.

“Put your workforce back into place. They don’t need holidays. Just make sure they’re in your soil and feed them. …. Our job is to make sure there is a diversity of micro-organisms, so plants can choose which organisms they need.”

Monitoring the soil life

The first step in restoring the soil biology is being able to diagnose it. Since we can’t look at the soil food web directly, we must rely on indirect methods. Some have suggested nematodes and springtails as indicators of soil health.
Ingham advocates a “direct count” method, in which individual organisms in a sample are counted under a microscope. Following a protocol, a trained technician counts the number of different classes of organisms (bacteria, fungi and protozoa, for example). The result is a report on the organisms estimated to be in the sample. The numbers indicate possible problems in the soil. For example, a high number of ciliates (a group of protozoa) suggests anaerobic conditions – harmful to plant life.
Other researchers have used plate counts. A soil sample is placed in a growth medium like agar, typically in a Petri dish. The number of bacterial or fungal colonies that grow from a soil sample are then counted.
Ingham maintains that this method grossly underestimates the number and variety of soil organisms. She says that the method was designed to detect and grow human disease organisms such as E. coli. In contrast, soil organisms need different conditions than the laboratory setting and growth media can provide. Only about .01 percent of soil organisms can be detected with traditional plate counts, she estimates.


Restoring soil biology requires a source of micro-organisms, and compost is ideal for that purpose. The compost should have a huge species diversity. Not just bacteria but fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as organic matter for them to feed on. The compost should be made locally, so that its soil biology is similar to the soil on which it is applied.
To people already involved with compost, Ingham’s discussion on compost-making should be familiar, if more rigorous than the usual. Most of her information comes from an Austrian family, the Luebkes, who developed the Controlled Microbial Composting (CMC) method. CMC is a thermal (hot) method, which involves frequent turning and close monitoring.
You can control the fungi-to-bacteria ratio of the compost by the raw materials you start with, and by your methods. Frequent turning, for example favors bacteria, since every time you turn a compost pile you “slice and dice” the fungal hyphae.
 Submitted by Kally Goschke

Coffee History:  How Coffee Fueled the Civil War
Since 2010 the New York Times has run a series of articles entitled “Disunion” which have marked the 150th anniversary of events in the Civil War. On July 9 the Disunion article by Jon Grinspan, a historian with the Massachusetts Historical Society, was entitled “How Coffee Fueled the Civil War”.  As chronicled by Grinspan, both Union and Confederate soldiers prized their cups of coffee.  Soldiers’ diaries raved about the “wonderful stimulant in a cup of coffee” and observed that “what keeps me alive must be the coffee.”
The Union Army encouraged this love, issuing soldiers roughly 36 pounds of coffee each year. Men ground the beans themselves (some carbines even had built-in grinders) and brewed it in little pots called muckets. They spent much of their downtime discussing the quality of that morning’s brew. Reading their diaries, one can sense the delight (and addiction) as troops gushed about a “delicious cup of black,” or fumed about “wishy-washy coffee.” Escaped slaves who joined Union Army camps could always find work as cooks if they were good at “settling” the coffee – getting the grounds to sink to the bottom of the unfiltered muckets.
Gen. Benjamin Butler ordered his men to carry coffee in their canteens, and planned attacks based on when his men would be most caffeinated. He assured another general, before a fight in October 1864, that “if your men get their coffee early in the morning you can hold.”
Who knows, maybe some of that Civil War coffee was grown in Kona.  It is a very interesting article which you can read by using this link:
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher

What’s In Your Kona Coffee Name?
Just for fun, Joachim Oster categorized our current Kona coffee brand names.  Which category includes your brand name?

Mountain, Meadow, Isles, Sky, Bayview, Earth, Volcano, Sunrise, Cloud, Moon, Left Coast, Lava rock, Red Hill, Pacific, Island Sun, Star, Thunder, Edge of the World
FLORA:  Rose, Naupaka, Rainforest, Maple Leaf, Bamboo, Jasminum, Tree
FAUNA:  Songbird, Hawk, Horse, Bird, Lion, Wings, Rooster, Green Gecko, Shark, Mongoose, Wolf, Hee Haw, Nightingale
RELATION:  Daddys, Mamas, Babys, Papas, My, Auntie’s, Family, Baby’s
HISTORY:  King, Royal, Captain Cook, Alii, Princess, King K, Queen, Crown,
COFFEE or FARM THEMED:  Shack, Cup, Farms, Bean, Cafe, Homestead, Mill, Java, Mr Bean, Orchard, Daily Fix, Purveyors
PRODUCT DESCRIPTIVE:  Pure, Essence, Premium, Rising, itskona, Sweet, Energy, KonAroma, Naturally, Fine, Delight
NAME or CHARACTER:  Joe, Greenwell, Arianna, Athena, Ferrari, Sugai, Bebo, Hope, Smith, Dard, Johnson, Eldawi, Yamagata, KonaLisa, Oka, Patrick, Al’s, Moki’s, Langenstein, Jose, Cornwell, Dr Paulos, Fike, Hubbard & Sons, Lyman, Bwana Bob,
MOOD:  Love, Comfort, Sweet, Heart, Old, Rising, Happy, Bad
HAWAIIAN:  Hula, Makapueo, Kiele, Koa, Aloha, Pele, Haole, Makahiki, Lehuula, dakine, Waikiki, Wailapa, Wahine, Mauka, Makai, Okole, Ohana, Keoki’s, Haole, Pono, Keauhou, Ho’oanena, Maluhia, Aikane, Pau Hana, Menehune, Makalei, Keokea, Anapuka, Haleka Lani, Wikiwiki, Kope, Lehualani, Mokulele, Hua Hua, Makalani, Kuaiwi, Punana Meli, Hanu’u, Kanalani Ohana, Hale Kai Lana
 SPIRITUAL:  Sacred Grounds, Buddhas Cup, Dragons Lair, Paradise, Heavenly, Seven Stars. Luna, Journey, Witcher’s Brew, Mystical Magical Mountain, Cassandra, Morning Dew, Fair Wind, Sweet Spirit, Shiva’s, Blue Moon, Imagine Kona,
COMBO:  Rancho Aloha, Blue Horse, Red Bird, Blue Sky, Hula Daddy, Greenwell Farms, Pele Plantations, Purple Mountain, Green Turtle, Aloha Hills, Full Moon, Island Sun, Sweet Okole, Dreaming Tree, Peaceful Cove, Hala Tree, Country Samurai, Bad Ass, Brazen Hazen
This is not a complete list but representative. May it help the new farmers to find a great name for their brand. And entertain the existing farmers to figure out to which Kona coffee farm these words belong.
–Submitted by Joachim Oster

For your next campout – Roasted Marshmallow Shots using marshmallows and Kona Coffee Liquer
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher