May 23, 2019
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November 2017 The Independent Voice

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

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA

Panama Coffee Auction Record Bid – $601/lb.
Fermentation with Yeast – an Experiment
Revisit the Feldman Study
HDOA Sponsored Food-Oriented Trade Shows
Questions about KonaRed Cold Brew Coffee
Seal of Quality Campaign
Salute to Supporting Business Member: Lind Insurance Services
Recipe: Kona Gold Martini
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

Lots of coffee activities starting November 3rd. Check here for a schedule of events:
Remember KCFA is the co-host for the Holualoa Coffee & Art Stroll!

Panama Coffee Auction Record Bid – $601/lb

The Specialty Coffee Association of Panama recently help their Best of Panama coffee auction and shattered previous price records. A 100 pound lot sold for $601 USD per pound! Of the 51 lots offered at the auction, 37 were purchased by companies from Asian countries. The highest bid lot was a variety called Geisha as were several other high earning lots.

“The auction follows numerous record-breaking Cup of Excellence auctions held throughout Latin America in recent months, reinforcing the notions that not only has quality improved among progressive farmers, but that there is a healthy and growing market at the very high end of the specialty coffee spectrum.”
The entire article can be found here:
 -Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Fermentation with Yeast: an Experiment

In the presentation on fermentation by Scott Labs (a KCFA Business Member) several weeks ago, some of our coffee was used as a demo. We expanded on that experiment and ran a full tank of each yeast (Cima and Intenso) plus a normal batch to see what would result. From the start we noticed a difference. Yeast fermentation began within about 30 minutes, with foaming that would normally take about four hours to achieve through natural methods. Within a few hours, the yeast coffee felt clean and finished.  We decided to let the yeast ride for a full 24 hours to see how the maceration process affected the flavor.

We’ve taken that through to green bean and roasted our first batch earlier this week.  The results in the cup were very noticeable!  The Cima batch had an orange note in the aroma, with a bright chocolate/cocoa citrus in the cup.  The finish was clean.  The Intenso had a cherry aroma, with a dark chocolate taste and heavy body on the tongue, much like a natural process.  Both were flavors normally found in our coffee, but turned up a notch in a way that was pleasant.

Perhaps the most interesting part came when we roasted 3x-grade batches of the green.  In the cup, the 3x control (no added yeast) batch had that CBB earthiness, which tastes a little dirty with a bite on the aftertaste.  It’s definitely not a good flavor and one I wouldn’t want my customers to taste. BUT, in the added yeast, none of that flavor came through.  The maceration process beneficially altered the profile of the worst grade of coffee to where it was very drinkable.

At the end of the day, we were happy with the results.  We are still considering how to use the yeasts in regular process. The cost is about $0.30 per pound of roasted weight.  This cost may be worth it to us for the sped-up fermentation process, which would give us some flexibility during cold weather or heavy harvest periods.  Or it may be beneficial in strip rounds, where our CBB is the worst and we want to counter the flavor.  Either way, it was illuminating for us to see the potential.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Revisit the Feldman Study

In 2010 San Francisco-based economist Marvin Feldman published “Economic Effects of Blending Kona Coffee—A Preliminary Analysis.”  This study was commissioned by the Kona Coffee Farmers Association.  Based on available data, Dr. Feldman concluded that annually the Blenders were gaining up to $14.4 millions in excess profits and that Kona’s coffee farmers were losing $14.4 million (and perhaps more) because of the marketing of “10% Kona Blends” permitted by Hawaii state law.

Using an estimation of about 750 coffee farms in the Kona region (See USDA/NASS data for 2008/09 of 790 coffee farms for all of Hawaii County), the Feldman study indicates that the average Kona Coffee farmer in 2010 was losing more than $19,000 per year because of “10% Kona Blends”.  With inflation and the Blender’s increasingly vigorous marketing of 10% blends, that annual loss us undoubtedly greater today.

With the 2018 Hawaii Legislative Session beginning in January, the Legislative Committee encourages KCFA members to read or re-read the Feldman Study–and consider the economic effects the blending of Kona coffee has on each of us.  In support of its legislative agenda for reforming the blend law, KCFA will be asking for your in-person and written testimony to help communicate to legislators the economic damage to farmers and the reputational damage to our crop that results from 10% Kona Blends.
To read the Feldman study, click her
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee

HDOA Sponsored Food-oriented Trade Shows

HDOA (Hawaii Department of Agriculture) continues to assist Hawaii agriculture/food companies to expand new and existing markets through sponsoring FOOD oriented trade shows.
We are looking for agriculture/food & beverage manufacture/ingredient companies to exhibit in the HDOA pavilion at the following 2018 trade shows:

Submit an on-line booth application form to express your intention to participate before each deadline.
A representative will contact you regarding qualifications and application fees.
Thank you,
Yukashi Smith, Economic Development Specialist, State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Market Development Branch  808-973-9627

Questions About KonaRed Cold Brew Coffee

After an alert from a KCFA member, the KCFA Branding Committee sent this October 18 letter requesting HDOA assistance in investigating accuracy of the labeling of KonaRed’s “Cold Brew Coffee Original Kona Blend.”  When you are at Costco, take a look at the labeling of this product in the cold drink case.

If you come across questionable labels using the “Kona Coffee” name, please contact the Branding Committee, so action can be taken as we did with this letter to the chairman of the Department of Agriculture.

October 18 , 2017
Scott Enright, Chair
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, Hi 96814

Re: KonaRed Cold Brew Coffee Original Kona Blend
Dear Scott:

A Kona Coffee Farmers Association ( member recently brought to our attention, and raised concerns over, the labeling on a coffee product that uses the “Kona” name and is offered for sale in this state.  After examining the label on this product (‘KonaRed Cold Brew Coffee Original Kona Blend”), we too are concerned.

With respect to “KonaRed Cold Brew Coffee Original Kona Blend”, we request your assistance in two respects:

1—An Investigation to Determine the Percentage of Kona Coffee in This KonaRed Blend
Although the label uses the word “Kona” 14 times, the word “Hawaiian” 8 times, and the top of each of the 4 side panels state “Premium Hawaiian Cold Brew Coffee”, there is no statement as to what percentage of the coffee is Kona-grown.
After “Water”, the “Ingredients” list on the back of the package identifies “100% Certified Kona Coffee” as the second ingredient and “Colombian Coffee” as the third.  Because federal law requires that a product’s label state the ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight, KonaRed is representing to consumers that a majority of the coffee in this product is Kona-grown coffee and that less than half is Colombian coffee.
Because of the price at which this product is being sold, we have serious doubts that a majority of the coffee is, in fact, Kona-grown.  We request your assistance in having the HDOA conduct an investigation to determine the percentage of Kona coffee in this product.
If the investigation determines that less than 50% of the coffee in the product is Kona-grown coffee, the violation of federal law, along with other misleading language on the label, would provide ample evidence of false and misleading statements to consumers in violation of HRS 708-871.  If that is the case, we request that you refer this matter to the Hawaii Attorney General for prosecution.

2—Amendment of HRS 486-120.6
Although the label of the KonaRed Kona Blend product fails to disclose the percentage of coffee grown in Kona, this is not a violation of Hawaii’s coffee labeling law (HRS 486-120.6) because the scope of that law is limited to the labeling and advertising of “roasted or instant coffee”.  We believe this KonaRed product and other brewed and coffee-flavored products using Hawaii coffee names (for example, Royal Mills’ canned “Hawaiian Kona Premium Coffee” with no indication of what percentage of the coffee, if any, is from Kona), should make the same label disclosures as required by HRS 486-120.6.  We request your support and that of the HDOA for an amendment making this change in the 2018 Legislative Session.
We very much appreciate your consideration of these two requests.  We look forward to hearing from you.
with aloha,
Cecelia B. Smith
KCFA Branding Committee

Cc: Rep. Richard Creagan
Rep. Nicole Lowen
Sen. Josh Green
Nancy Cook Lauer, West Hawaii Today
Andrew Gomes, Honolulu Advertiser

 Seal of Quality Campaign

Aloha SOQ members,
This year’s TV campaign with KHON2 Living 808 segment has been a huge success! Thanks again for those who have participated in this campaign promoting your products and the SOQ program together. Right now, we have 21 spots left. Please do not miss this opportunity which is worth of $1,500. For sign up, please send email to:
·         Valerie Adams
·         Jamie Ikehara
For Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and Molokai companies, please consider flying to Honolulu for this opportunity. Good news is KHON2 can create a segment without you flying to Honolulu if you provide enough images, sample products and information.
Important feedback from KHON2:
·         Schedule your appearance ahead of time at least two weeks prior your desired date. You can’t call them today to schedule it tomorrow.
·         Once scheduled, you must stick with it for pre-tape or location filming. Last minute change will affect the entire production team.
The past segments are available to view online:
Hope to see you all on the Living808
Yukashi Smith, Economic Development Specialist, State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Market Development Branch 808-973-9627
–Submitted by Christine Coleman

Salute to KCFA Business Member – Lind Insurance Services

Crop insurance is becoming more desirable than ever with the threat of climate change. A longtime KCFA Business Member is Bonnie Lind of Lind Insurance Services.

“Lind Insurance Services is an agency specializing in Crop Insurance with varied and long-term experience in the field, and has shown a standing commitment to the farming community by providing consistent and detail-oriented service to its clients.”

Here is the link for more information:
Please consider our KCFA Business Member to get more information or to purchase crop insurance.

Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor:

Recipe: Kona Gold Martini

1 cup Oceans Vodka
1/3 cup coffee liqueur made with Kona coffee
1/3 cup Kona coffee syrup
1 Nespresso shot Kona Gold coffee

Put all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake shake shake!  Pour strained mixture into a chilled martini glass.  Makes 2.
–Submitted by Sarah Fogelstrom

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