June 21, 2018
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November 2016 – The Independent Voice

      The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association  
November 2016

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

Extension of Current Green Coffee Standards
Coffee Thefts Reported
Pruning Schedule

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
Busy Days for Coffee Farmers
Recipe: Coffeeberry Sauce
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson

Extension of Current Green Coffee Grade Standards

Effective July 1, 2014, Hawaii green coffee grade standards set forth in the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR 4-143) were amended to increase the maximum defects for the “Prime” grade from 15% to 20% and to reduce the defect count for “pinholes” from 1/5 to 1/10 of a defect.  The reason for this change was to assist coffee farmers in meeting green coffee grade standards while Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) mitigation programs are developed. Since 2014 these revised standards have permitted substantial quantities of additional coffee to be marketed as “Kona Coffee” with significant economic benefit to Kona farmers. However, the amended grade standards were put in place for a limited 3-year period and, unless extended, they will expire on July 1, 2017.

There is concern that the expiration of the current standards and a return to the old standards will have a significant adverse economic effect on coffee farmers while CBB mitigation programs continue to be developed and refined. In December of 2015 the Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) Board voted to request the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to: (1) seek an additional 3-year extension of the current grade standards and (2) begin a process to identify “needed changes” to other parts of Hawaii’s coffee standards regulations.  The Kona Coffee Farmers Association and other coffee organizations have joined the HCA request.

Acting on the coffee organizations’ requests, the HDOA asked the Board of Agriculture for preliminary approval of the 3-year extension and for authorization for the HDOA to proceed with the formal process to adopt the extension.  The KCFA Legislative Committee submitted written testimony to the Board of Agriculture in support of the HDOA’s request. 

On October 18, the Board of Agriculture unanimously approved the proposed amendments and the HDOA is proceeding to formalize the incorporation of an extension through 7/1/2020 into the regulations.

With regard to the “needed changes” to other elements of the grade standards, the HDOA has requested coffee organizations to provide input for future consideration on:

 (1) BEAN SIZE: Should bean size continue to be an element in the grade standards? Is there an objective correlation between bean size and in-the-cup taste quality?

(2) DEFECT COUNT:  How should defect counts be determined? Is there an objective basis for distinguishing taste quality on the basis of defect counts? If so, how is that determined?

(3) ORIGINS:  Should the list of geographic origins for certified Hawaii coffee be expanded—for example, to include Ka’u as a recognized separate origin?

(4) NUMBER OF GRADES:  Are there too many different grades for Hawaii coffee?  Does the current number of grades cause confusion?

(5) COLOR REQUIREMENTS: Do different color requirements for green coffee correlate to taste quality? If so, how is that determined?

(6) ROASTING/CUPPING: Should roasting and cupping by the HDOA continue to be part of the green coffee certification process?

(7) NATURALS:  should there be a separate set of grade standards for “natural dried” coffee and, if so, what should they be?

The HDOA has also requested input on the questions of:

 (8) COUNTERFEITING: Whether laws, regulations and procedures should be changed to allow for effective enforcement actions against counterfeiting of Hawaii-grown coffee in this State and on the Mainland?

(9) LABELING: Whether coffee labeling laws (including the 10% blend provisions) should be amended to effectively address consumer fraud, adverse economic impacts on Hawaii growers, and damage to the reputation of Hawaii-grown coffees?

As to these latter nine questions, no timetable for consideration and implantation of changes has been identified, but the fact that the HDOA is raising these issues is encouraging.
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee

Coffee Thefts Reported

On Tuesday October 25, 6 bags of picked cherry were stolen from a farm, 1.5 miles up Bruner/Filipino Clubhouse Road. The week before, a farmer on the same road reported that his drying coffee was stolen off his decks. Thefts need to be reported to the police. Be alert and careful.
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith


Although you may be tempted, please…wait to prune.
After harvesting season our coffee trees look a little worn out, but give them time to rest. Post harvesting is a naturally dormant time for coffee.  Pruning should only be started in January, providing the trees are not suffering from lack of moisture.  If this is the case wait until the rains come back.
Pruned early, you are stimulating the worked-out tree to start producing new growth. Give them the break they deserve!

–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

PLEASE JOIN US:  Saturday, November 5, 2016
Mauka of Manago’s Hotel in Captain Cook

Help Preserve old Hawaii. The FRIENDS of AMY B.H. GREENWELL ETHNOBOTANICAL GARDEN was formed when Bishop Museum announced it was selling this valuable resource of old Hawaii. According to Maile Melrose, president of the friends of the garden, there is a now a drive to save this special place. The Meeting is open to all the community aimed at accomplishing this goal. Your kokua needed!
2:30-4:00 pm   Garden Tours
4:00-6:00 pm   Special Program and Pupus

Please join us by becoming a Member of the “THE FRIENDS OF AMY B.H. GREENWELL ETHNOBOTANICAL GARDEN”. The cost is only $5.00 and we need your help!!!
For more information, call Maile Melrose at 323-3378

Peter Van Dyke, Greenwell Garden Director, is an Active Voting Member of the KCFA.

–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

From the editor:
  For those of you who have never visited the “Garden”, over 250 types of native and Polynesian introduced plants are landscaped among the archaeological remains of the Kona Field System, a vast network of farms and gardens that supported the people of Kona.  The mission of the Garden is to support Hawaiian traditions of plants and land use, and to conserve the resources for those traditions. Dryland native plants—both common and rare—from the region may also be found in these gardens. The Gardens closed in January of this year due to lack of funding. Please help.

Busy Days for Coffee Farmers

This year seems to be even busier than last year. There is so much to do: picking coffee, processing coffee, treating the coffee trees for CBB, fighting little fire ants. For those farmers that also have crops other than coffee the workday is even longer.

The brevity of this edition of The Independent Voice reflects how little time is left for activities other than our crops.
Submittals from our members would be greatly appreciated. Simply sending the editor a link to an interesting article is all that is needed, although opinions are also welcome.
–Submitted by the Editor

Recipe: Coffeeberry Sauce
Total cooking time 30 minutes

In a medium cooking pot add:
· 3 cups ripe coffee berries
· Add water to almost cover berries (2/3rds covered)

Bring to rapid boil, then add:
· Juice of one orange
· 8 teaspoons of white sugar

Cook on medium low heat
Stir constantly for approximately 15 minutes until berries soften and start splitting
Last 10 minutes of cooking smash berries with a potato masher
Remove from heat
Press sauce through strainer pressing with a spoon
Serve warm over pork chops, chicken or turkey or chilled over night as a relish.

–This recipe was created in Kona by Brinda Kempton, visiting from Altadena, California


 WRITE TO US LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> 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.
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