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March 2017 – The Independent Voice

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

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA
www.konacoffeefarmers.org   info@konacoffeefarmers.org


Immigration Policies & the Kona Coffee Industry
Diacetyl – a Chemical Byproduct of Roasting Coffee
Legislative Update
EXPO- Looking for Vendors
Build your Export Sales
2017 Beauveria Subsidies
Slowly Protecting Pure Local Kona
Salute to Supporting Business Member – Gillies Coffee
Recipe: Kona Coffee Brownies with Coffee Ganache
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

Immigration Policies and the Kona Coffee Industry

When fully implemented, President Trump’s policies toward undocumented workers are a disaster for coffee farmers.  Trump is spreading panic throughout immigrant communities with threats to deport all 11 million undocumented people, regardless of how long they have been here or how much they contribute to their communities.  He’s beginning with the “bad dudes”, but his policies do not stop there.

If all the undocumented workers were arrested and deported by the INS, agriculture in Hawaii would cease.  These workers are essential to the coffee industry and to those who grow most other agricultural products in the state.  I believe farmers need to stand up and tell politicians that undocumented workers are the backbone of agriculture in this state and in much of the nation.

My coffee workers are an extended Mexican family.  They are here year-round.  They fertilize, prune, sucker, pick, mow, and generally take care of the coffee trees and my farm.  They keep the farm equipment in working order. They also care for 7 other farms. They are busy, productive, happy residents of Kona, Hawaii.  They go to churches, their children attend local schools, and they are responsible members of the community.

One couple and their daughter lived in my ohana for 5 years before moving to a larger home.  Other family members live here now.  I depend on these fine, hard-working people to keep my coffee crop and the farm in good shape year after year.  I celebrate birthdays and holidays with their children; the children help socialize my litters of puppies (and they enjoy the puppies, too).   We exchange food and concerns.

Some have children who are covered by DACA so far, until Trump overturns that Executive Order.   Some have children born in the US, who are US citizens.  Their undocumented parents can be deported by the Trump regime.  Older adults and single people have no protection from being found and deported.

All of these people’s status is threatened in the new Administration.  I want to help them.  We need to have a discussion among KCFA members about what we can do to help our workers to remain here and to be sheltered from fear of deportation.  KCFA needs to hear farmers’ views of the situation.

If you are interested to join a KCFA committee to consider how we should respond to the President’s immigration policies, please contact Suzanne Shriner (suzanne@coffeeofkona.com) or me (store@dailyfixcoffee.com).
–Submitted by Sandra Scarr

Diacetyl – a Chemical Byproduct of Coffee Roasting

In April 2016, NPR Morning Edition produced a segment about concerns over diacetyl, a chemical in the byproduct gases from roasting coffee. Diacetyl has been linked to lung disease and studies are ongoing. Although small roasters are unlikely to produce enough of the gas to cause problems, large commercial roasters, particularly those that flavor coffee, may be exposing employees to this potentially dangerous chemical. Recommended precautions include having fresh air circulating in the roasting area. The link for the NPR article is:  http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/15/474325037/coffee-workers-concerns-brew-over-chemicals-link-to-lung-disease

Further information from the CDC is here: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/flavorings/processing.html
 –Submitted by Bonnie Perata

Legislative Update

HB186 EXTENDING THE HDOA CBB SUBSIDY PROGRAM: 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.

HB186 was passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on January 27 and was passed out of the House Finance Committee on February 24. “Thank You” to the many KCFA Members who took time to submit written testimony in support of HB186 for the two House Committees hearings.  Assuming that this bill will cross over to the Senate, we will need additional supporting testimony from KCFA Members for the Senate committee hearings.  Please again send in testimony when email notices of hearing dates are sent.

 HB256 COFFEE LABELING REFORM: This bill 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. The Legislature has been called upon to enact these 2 straight-forward labeling reforms in formal resolutions from the Hawaii County Council (Resolution 501-14) and from the Hawaii County and Hawaii State Democratic Parties in their 2016 conventions.

 The House Agriculture Committee passed HB256 with a 7-0 favorable vote on January 27 and the measure was then sent to the House Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) Committee for further consideration.  HOWEVER, it appears that CPC Chair Angus McKelvey may not be willing to stand up to the economic power of the Honolulu Blenders.  Despite requests from KCFA members and two direct appeals from Tim Vandeveer (Chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party) to schedule a hearing for HB256, no CPC hearing has been scheduled as of publication deadline for the March newsletter. 

[Re economic power of the Honolulu Blenders NOTE: Hawaii Coffee Company (the State’s largest blender and marketer of Royal Kona and Lion Coffee 10% blends) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paradise Beverages (Hawaii’s largest beer and alcohol distributor) which in turn is wholly owned by Los Angeles-based Topa Equities (one of the largest privately held conglomerates in the US).]  

 REMINDER–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. To review the HDOA’s Notice of Public Hearing and information on submitting testimony, click NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING final(2) (ed. note- link corrected from orignal posting)
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee

April 28, 2017 – EXPO Vendors Wanted
The KCFA’s 10th Annual EXPO is April 28 and we’re looking for Vendors interested in being at our Annual fantastic KCFA EXPO!! All info >>> HERE

Build Your Export Sales with Help from the State  
                           Image result for simple hawaii map
Want to export your coffee but not sure where to start?  Small businesses are eligible for training sessions and grant money from the State.  The HiSTEP program serves both new exporters and those who already have some experience but may need cash or training to grow into the next step.  While most of the trainings are on Oahu, they do offer remote conferencing for Big Island residents.  Check out their website at http://invest.hawaii.gov/exporting/histep/
 –Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

2017 Beauveria Subsidies
As the CBB season approaches, now is a good time to register for one or both of the CBB subsidy programs.  The SHAC program is still waiting to hear from USDA as to whether funding for 2017 will be provided.  If you are not already on their mailing list, send an email to info@deadcbb.com to get notified when the program goes live or to be added to their program. 
-Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

The HDOA CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program is currently taking applications (until June 30th) for Botanigard and Mycotrol purchases made from 7/1/15 through 6/30/16. Call Gwen Hicks at 323-7578 with any questions. Continue to SAVE your original receipts – on July 1st applications will be accepted for purchases made 7/1/16 through 6/30/17.

I appreciate the support KCFA members have provided by writing letters to the State Legislature in support of HB186 (to extend the date for the HDOA CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program).

Gwen Hicks

Slowly Protecting Pure Local Kona – updates
 Work has continued with Origin Protection of Kona coffee at the Hawaiian, national and international levels.  Striving to maintain the public understanding of what the geographical identity of the primary coffee now so long produced in the Kona District of Hawaii island means that by starting with what has long been in place (the regional definition of a specific variety grown in a specific region), 100% Pure Kona coffee can continue to build upon what has happened more recently (in the last 10 years) in terms of work with oriGIn and Slow Food in Italy where we participated and received the Parmigiano Reggiano award of recognition.
Since the Branding Committee was able to work with local (Hawaii) Slow Food leadership, who worked with the US national office staff, Kona coffee received the designation of Ark of Taste by Slow Food USA, which is an important recognition of a geographically identified agricultural crop/product (see listing at https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/pure-kona-coffee).  Because of that designation, Colehour Bondera of Kanalani Ohana Farm was contacted by Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org) to interview about how Ark of Taste affects Kona coffee.  The article by Local Harvest will be included as a link or reproduction for your future reading (sorry, not published at this time!)

All of this is directly related to the general pursuit at hand regarding KCFA involvement in Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO in July, 2017 (www.slowfoodnations.org).  Since we already have the KCFA designated space at the event in place, the intention now is to seek and work with other entities for sponsorship, and more importantly to finalize the application for County of Hawaii funds from the Department of Research and Developments’ Economic Development Grants which are taking applications at this time to cover costs associated not only with the grant administration expenses, but more-so with material development, shipping, education and outreach both during the event and afterwards.  If any of you can help with required matching funds and/or you are in Denver or have good coffee connections in Denver, please send Colehour an email at colemel2@gmail.com  so we can coordinate things such as supplies, equipment, shipping, presentation materials, etc.

Looking forward to working together to maintain the Origin Protection of Pure Kona coffee to the benefit of all Kona coffee farmers – you, KCFA members!
–Submitted by Kay Dixon & Colehour Bondera

Salute to Supporting Business Member – Gillies Coffee

Gillies Coffee is the oldest coffee company in the United States, starting in 1840 when Wright Gillie opened a tea and coffee business in NYC.  “Long recognized as special local “treasure” among New York gourmet coffee wholesale suppliers, Gillies is now a buyer’s destination for fresh roasted coffees of unparalleled merit direct from the coffee roaster. Teas, tisanes, kindred products, and green coffees for the roasting-retailer are all at the fingertips of the professional…”

Donald Schoenholt, the president of Gillies Coffee is a founding member of SCAA and of KCFA. He is recognized throughout the coffee industry for his coffee expertise.

I could not find Kona coffee offered on their website at this time. Perhaps one of our readers should pursue this opportunity.
Their website: www.gilliescoffee.com has a wide range of information about coffee.

Recipe: Kona Coffee Brownies with Kona Coffee Ganache

2 cups sugar
unsalted butter – 2 sticks minus 1 Tbsp
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp finely ground Kona coffee beans
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups flour
¾ cup pecan pieces
6 tbsp strong brewed Kona coffee
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Spray or grease 13x9x2 pan. Combine sugar, butter, ground coffee, and salt in metal bowl. Place bowl over pan of simmering water and whisk until butter melts and ingredients are blended (texture will be grainy). Cool mixture to lukewarm. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Fold in flour. Mix in pecans.

Spread batter in pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool brownies in pan.

To make ganache: Bring brewed coffee to simmer and pour over chocolate chips; stir until melted. Let ganache stand until cool and beginning to thicken, about an hour. Spread evenly over brownies. Cut into 15 squares.
OPTIONAL: top each brownie with a few crystallized ginger strips

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Include your name and email address >> Email: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.