August 19, 2018
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March 2013 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                                                     March 2013
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA                                                    

Coffee Talk – Latest CBB Research
Letter to President Obama and Secretary Vilsack
Legislative Update
     Video Testimony
     Fair Labeling Bill
     CBB Research /Farmer Support Bill
Kona Coffee Blossom Banquet Coming Up
     Donations Requested
Your Coffee at Aloha Theatre Presentations
News from Hawaii Farmers Union United, Kona
Free Classified Ads
EDITOR:  Clare Wilson

KCFA Presents “Coffee Talk”
Latest Coffee Berry Borer Research, A Presentation by PBARC

WHEN:  Friday, March 8 from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
WHERE:  Yano Hall in Captain Cook (Parking is limited, so car pool if you can)
WHO:  Ray Carruthers, Robbie Hollingsworth, Tracie Matsumoto and Lisa Keith.
Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) presenters.
Everyone welcome and free to all!

Wonder if CBB is affecting YOU and what you can do about it? Come listen to a presentation on the latest Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Research from the scientists at PBARC. An hour long presentation from PBARC followed by questions from the audience. Not to be missed if you care about your coffee and want to know the latest!

What does CBB do- exactly? Check out this photo of a quart sized zip-loc bag of imperfect beans-mainly CBB damage-after going through 10 pounds of 100% Kona Peaberry in February 2013.
Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Letter to the White House Requesting Emergency Funding for CBB Control 
KCFA Members are encouraged to review a letter here:  that was written to the White House and to the Secretary of Agriculture speaking of the dire need for some help in the fight against the Coffee Berry Borer.
Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Legislative Update
Video Testimony   Following up on the 1/31/13 article in West Hawaii Today concerning the limited “pilot project” for video conference testimony from Neighbor Islands at hearings of the Senate Education, Technology and Arts Committee, KCFA wrote to Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joseph Souki to request expansion of video testimony to hearings of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees as soon as possible.  Written testimony submitted by farmers, unfortunately, is far outweighed by the in-person Honolulu testimony of commercial interests and corporate lobbyists. Farmers need the ability to provide “live” video testimony to Legislative hearings–similar to the testimony we can now provide by video to County Council hearings that are held in Hilo.

SB558 (Fair Labeling) This bill was sponsored by the Hawaii State Association of Counties and was endorsed by all 4 Hawaii Counties. SB558 would have provided truth-in-labeling for all Hawaii agriculture products (including coffee, honey, macadamia nuts, tea, chocolate, and vanilla) and required a minimum 75% genuine content for “Hawaii Blends”.  A hearing on SB558 was held in Honolulu by the Senate Agriculture Committee on February 7, 2013.  KCFA Board Member Tom Butler and KCFA Member David Case testified in-person in support of the bill. More than 100 pieces of written testimony were submitted to the Committee. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee voted to “defer” (that is, kill) SB558—a disappointing result.  The written testimony is VERY INTERESTING, and KCFA members are encouraged to review that testimony to get a full picture of the arguments that were made for and against this important bill.  [Go to the Hawaii Legislature website (; then enter “SB558” in the “Bill Status” box; then click on the “Testimony” link.  Testifying in support of the bill were more than 30 KCFA members [many thanks to all who submitted testimony]; officials of the Hawaii State Association of Counties; County Council members from all 4 Hawaii Counties (including Hawaii County Council Member Karen Eoff); Hawaii tea growers; Hawaii fishermen; Hawaii Farmers Union United; and many others.  The opposition was–not surprisingly—dominated by testimony of employees and economic allies of Hawaii Coffee Company (Lion’s Coffee/Royal Kona/Paradise Beverages/Topa Enterprises). Disappointingly, written opposition was also submitted by the Abercrombie Administration (through its HDOA Chair Russell Kokubun); and by Skip Bittenbender of UH-CTAHR.

HB353 (CBB Research and Farmer Support)  This bill was introduced by Kona Representative Nicole Lowen and provides for $500,000 this fiscal year and another $500,000 for the next fiscal year for CBB research by the Hilo-based Pacific Basic Agriculture Research Center (part of the US Department of Agriculture). It also provides for $330,000 for CBB mitigation.  In a meeting in late January with Rep. Lowen, KCFA members emphasized the dire emergency CBB poses for Kona coffee growers; that the State needs to recognize the emergency and to act accordingly. Rep. Lowen was advised that while an expenditure of $1.33 million is supported by the KCFA as a step in the right direction, even more emergency funding is needed—or the Kona coffee may be lost as an economically viable crop.

On February 14, the House Finance Committee held a hearing on HB353.  More than 90 separate pieces of written testimony were submitted—all in support of the bill—EXCEPT the testimony of HDOA Chair Kokubun which stated a non-committal “support the intent” position.  After the hearing, the Finance Committee stripped out the $1 million for PBARC research and reduced the mitigation appropriation to $300,000 and delayed that appropriation for another year.

The bill will now cross to the Senate where there will be an opportunity coffee farmers to request the Senate Agriculture Committee to restore the original funding called for in Rep. Lowen’s bill—and to urge the Legislature to treat CBB  as the genuine emergency that it is for Hawaii County farmers.
Submitted by the Legislative Committee

 It’s a Date!   2013 Kona Coffee Blossom Banquet

Saturday, April 20 is the date for the Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s fundraiser banquet to be held at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes a no-host cocktail hour, sumptuous Hawaiian buffet, and both silent and live auctions.  Everyone is invited. Proceeds from the event will be used to continue research and education to fight against the coffee berry borer.  Pre-Sale Tickets are $45 until April 1 and $55 after that date. Tickets are available at  Please support our Kona coffee farmers at our only annual fundraiser. For more information contact Mary Lou Moss at 329-4035 or
Submitted by Anita Kelleher
Photo from 2012 Banquet

Calling All Members!!!
For our upcoming annual Coffee Blossom banquet and fundraiser, we will continue with collecting donations from the merchants, groups and individuals who have so generously supported us in the past.  And this year, we would like to try something new and we would like your help.

Our KCFA wants your talent!
Do you have a special ability, talent, a basket of handmade items, a batch of watercolors that you have painted, a musical gift, a special expertise?   At the most recent meeting of our Banquet Planning committee, here are some of the ideas from members and a sample of things that have been offered as donations:

4 dozen fresh and delicious handmade real Italian ravioli from Italian cook Anita Kelleher
* a champagne brunch for 6 at the beautiful Kona coffee farm of Mary Lou Moss
* chipping services at your farm from Manny Ochoa
* authentic Sicilian dinner for 4 with heavenly harp music at a lovely Holualoa farm from Motter Snell and Lisa Corker
* personalized visit to your farm with analysis and evaluation from Kona coffee farmer Bob Smith
* beautiful floral cards by noted watercolor artist Roseann Buritz
* handmade artisan pillow featuring authentic Kona coffee bag from Tanya Kearns
* spraying services for your orchard from Jim Wickersham
* 2-hour personal session offered by Dr. Karen Kemp — learn how to make your own beautiful digital maps using free data and on-line tools
* Biscotti workshop and Italian language mini-lesson offered by Lisa Corker
* a hand-quilted pillow and coffee-themed beautiful handcrafted aprons, placemats, and pillowcases by Judith Gardner
Our members are really coming forward to share their special talents and skills with us all.
We look forward to your offering!
DONATION FORMS are available here: and may be snail mailed to KCFA, P O Box 5436, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 or emailed to:
Please send your donation form in by April 1 to be listed in our program and MAHALO FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
Submitted by Lisa Corker

Free (almost) Advertising for your Kona Coffee

Kona coffee from Paradise Found Hawaii is being highlighted this weekend and next for the Aloha Performing Arts Co. production of “The Wizard of Oz”.  In April “I Hate Hamlet” will feature Kona coffee from Colehour’s Kanalani Farm.

To participate, a Kona coffee farm supplies coffee to be brewed during the production, probably about 1 1/2 lbs. of ground coffee per weekend for three performances.

In return both KCFA and the farm are represented in the playbill and on the counter. The representing farm can display their coffee with brochures and the audience is able to enjoy it. While there will be no bagged coffee for sale at the theater, it is a worthwhile way to advertise and support local art at the same time.

APAC puts on a different performance almost monthly. Those who wish to participate in having their coffee advertised for a minimum cost can email Tom Butler at

P.S. Did I mention that there are 2 complimentary tickets to go along with the participating farm?  Such a deal!
Submitted by Tom Butler

News from Hawaii Farmers Union United, Kona Chapter
The members of the Kona Chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union United met on March 19.  The members adopted bylaws for the chapter and appointed a Nominations Committee to solicit candidates for the Chapter Board of Directors.  KCFA President, C. Smith, Chairs the Committee.  The Chapter is holding a special membership meeting at 1 pm on March 19 at the Kainaliu CTAHR conference room to elect the board, after which the board will meet to elect its officers.  The Chapter also welcomes the University of Hawaii Small Business Development Center, Kona Office as an Ohana member of the Farmers Union and the Kona Chapter and look forward to their energy and participation.
Submitted by David Case

Free Classified Ads for KCFA Members
The free to all Members Classifieds needs some new ACTION from YOU!  Send an email to with <the subject> “KCFA Classifieds” and let us know what you want or what you want to sell. 500 character limit.  No 3rd party ads.  This is a valuable resource for our members.  Make it work for you!  And check out the ads – you may see something that you need or want.

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