March 17, 2018
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October 2013 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice

                        Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                                                                                        October 2013
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA


Message from President 

Legislative Update

Counterfeit Civet-Assisted Coffee

Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

Coffee Talk – NRSC – Oct.24th

QUICKBOOKS Assistance Available

KCFA Board Elections Coming Up

The Sling

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Recipe – Smoky Black Bean Soup

Editor- Clare Wilson

Message from the President

Member Stuff: Having personally received several orders this week through the KCFA website:), here’s a reminder to everyone to make their <Farm> listings up to date. HOW?  Check out your Farm Listing by clicking here: and enter your Farm Name under <Farm> and see what others see. If you want to update your Listing, go to and on the upper right hand is an orange box saying <Members Only- Login to manage your account> “Click” and enter your username and password. Then just “click” on <Update your Farm and photos> button – down to the right under <My Account>, and go for it! Add a new photo too!
Classified?  It’s a free Member benefit! Want to buy or sell something or your services?  Email with the subject <Classifieds> and your text (under 500 characters) and we’ll get it placed for you. FREE!
Questions? and we’ll reply asap.
Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Legislative Update

Important Public Hearing on Coffee Standards—October 10
On Thursday, October 10, 2013, at 9:00 am at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Building G, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will be holding a public hearing on the HDOA’s proposed amendments to the Administrative Rules Relating to Coffee Standards. These proposed rule changes will have major impacts on all Kona coffee farmers. Note that the final version of the amendments was not provided to KCFA for review and comment prior to issuance of the Notice of Hearing.

We encourage as many KCFA members as possible to attend the hearing and to testify. In-person testimony can be given at the hearing and written testimony can be submitted by mail, email or fax. We encourage you to do both.

Take a look at the comments, issues, and concerns about the rule changes that have been submitted so far by various KCFA members. They are posted here: Among those issues and concerns are:

**Will “Home Roaster” Sales of Less-Than-Wholesale-Quantities of Green Coffee Be Adversely Affected?

**Are The Hawaii Coffee Grade Descriptions Deceptive and Damaging to Kona?

**Why is the HDOA Proposing to Charge $48/Page For Certificate Copies?

**Will the HDOA No Longer Issue Cost-Effective “Certificates of Origin Only” to small-scale farmers?

**Do the Rule Changes Affect Sales of Roasted Coffee? If So, How?

**Why is the Coffee Quality Certification Program Being Eliminated?

**What Are the Specific HDOA Objectives That Drive the Proposed Amendments?

**Has the HDOA Addressed Financial, Logistical and Other Practical Impacts On Small, Family-Scale Farms and Farmers?

For a link to the HDOA’s Notice of Hearing, go here: About two-thirds down that Notice of Hearing page there is an insignificant “click here” link to the Proposed amendments showing the changes. If you have additional questions or comments about these proposed amendments, please post them on the site or send them to for posting.

Above all–please send written testimony to the HDOA and come to the hearing on October 10.

PS – to send testimony: Written testimony may be submitted prior to the hearing via postal mail to the Quality Assurance Division c/o Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96814, or via fax at (808) 832-0683, or via email at Please include the word “Testimony” and the subject matter <Rules related to coffee standards>.

Submitted by the Legislative Committee. 

Counterfeit Civet-Assisted Coffee


Here is a link to a very interesting article published by Café de Colombia (the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation).  Like Kona coffee, Kopi Luwak has its own big time counterfeiting problem.  Read this article about how scientists are developing a method that can reliably detect essence of civet in coffee and so identify non-civet coffee being sold as the ultra-expensive Kopi Luwak.

The Economist followed the news at this link:

Submitted by Bryce Decker

Fake Jamaica Blue Mountain – Sound Familiar?

Hong Kong press finally confronts the problems

Ming Pao and the South China Morning Post (both Hong Kong dailies) covered this story on 28 September 2013.

  • ‘Blue Mountain’ coffee claim ‘grounds for alarm’, says licensed seller
  • Many retailers wrongly advertise they sell premium Blue Mountain beans, says importer
  • Many coffee products sold at a premium in Hong Kong as “Blue Mountain” have only a remote connection with the Blue Mountain Range in Jamaica from where they are supposed to come, an importer claims.
  • Jim Coke, CEO of Hilmann Reinier Commodities, which imports Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, said he had filed a complaint with the customs department.
  • He said some coffee carried misleading product descriptions and were in breach of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.
  • “Some companies are making coffee they call Blue Mountain without authorisation,” Coke said.
  • He has named two coffee makers and one retailer in the complaint.
  • When people talk about Blue Mountain, they usually refer to the mountain range in Jamaica that produces one of the world’s top coffee beans.
  • In fact, only coffee grown at elevations between 915 metres and 1,680 metres in the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Thomas, Portland and Saint Mary can be called Jamaica Blue Mountain, according to the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.
  • Any company that imports Blue Mountain coffee or makes products named as such must get a licence from the board and pay 1 per cent of their revenue to the country.
  • Items that are made entirely of Blue Mountain coffee beans are called “100% Jamaica Blue Mountain” and have the board’s round trademark logo, which shows a barrel in front of a mountain.
  • The board applied for a “Jamaica Blue Mountain” trademark in Hong Kong last year, but the application is still being processed.
  • Many companies are still putting “Blue Mountain” on their packaging.
  • Some local coffee companies not listed as licensees sell “Jamaica Blue Mountain” products in their shops, while many “Blue Mountain” products can be found in supermarkets.
  • Movenpick and Mr Brown Coffee offer a “Blue Mountain blend”, without specifying the proportion of Jamaican beans. Others call themselves “Blue Mountain style”.
  • Coke said the amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance, which bans misleading descriptions and promotions of goods and services, should be able to solve the problem.
  • The customs’ enforcement guidelines for the law states that consumers rightly have expectations over geographical denomination of products.
  • The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica said Mr Brown, Movenpick, Zambra and Pacific Coffee were not licensed.
  • There were strict requirements if products were to be called a Jamaica Blue Mountain blend, according to the board.
  • But products calling themselves “Blue Mountain Style” or “Blue Mountain Blend” did not infringe the board’s trademark because there was no reference to the product being “100% Jamaica Blue Mountain ® coffee”, the board’s legal officer said.
  • A Pacific Coffee spokesman said its Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee was bought through a prized licensed coffee roaster in the US.
  • “In a nutshell, please be ensured, the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans we sell are genuine and legitimate,” the spokesman said.
  • There was no comment yesterday from Zambra, Movenpick or Mr Brown.
    Submitted by Anonymous 


00421_Natural_Resources_Conservation_Service_logoCoffee Talk – Natural Resources Conservation Service

Kona Coffee Farmers Association & CTAHR Present
Coffee Talk:   Thursday, October 24, 2013, 5:30pm – 6:30 PM at the CTAHR Conference Room in Kainaliu
Topic:  Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA

  • Who They Are
  • What Their Programs Are
  • How They Help Farmers and Landowners
  • Have you ever visited with a Conservationist from NRCS?

No matter whether you are long time farmer or a brand new farmer,
This is a visit with benefits for you and your land.

Presentation by Jessica Schmelz, District Conservationist, Kealakekua Office, NRCS Come learn about this USDA Agency that is dedicated to your relationship with your land.
Submitted by Louise Hanna

 makana o alohagift of aloha for fellow farmers

  QuickBooks         QuickBooks ASSISTANCE

Ever get confused by QUICKBOOKS accounting or wonder if you are using the software to its full potential?
Help is here!

For any KCFA member needing assistance with QUICKBOOKS software to run their farm, Kurt Schweickhard, KCFA’s Treasurer, is offering to share his knowledge.

There is no charge and details will be worked out on an individual basis on how the service can be accomplished.

Please contact Kurt at to take advantage of this valuable amenity.


KCFA seal_72dpi     Interested in Serving Your Organization? 

KCFA Board elections for 2014-2015 are coming up in January.  If you are interested in serving on the KCFA Board or know of someone you’d like to recommend, please send in your ideas for KCFA Board Members to: with the subject <BOD for 2014> We are looking for candidates who will be a dynamic part of our team; believing in our Mission and committed to work towards carrying out our Priorities. The Board held two Planning Sessions earlier this year, examining and re-validating the KCFA Mission and then deciding on the four main Priorities for 2014-2015 which are: #1 Promote Kona Coffee, #2 Education, #3 Legislative Action, and #4 Recruit and Retain members.

The KCFA has over 300 Members who expect the KCFA Board to do a good job representing them.  We need a few good people who will put in the necessary time and effort in the name of community service to further the Mission and Priorities of the KCFA.

Mahalo for your help.
Submitted by the Election Committee

The Sling – A Great New Product


KCFA has ordered 267 of these wonderful bags from Chico bag in California.  They are called the Sling – a nice dark green (healthy coffee leaf) color and will hold up to 40 lbs.  It is very durable and washable and folds up into a pouch for easy transport.  I think they would be nice Xmas gifts, priced under $15.  We will have them available at the Coffee & Art Stroll and available from our KCFA store on our website. (Bag Details: Height is 14.5′, Width is 13.5′, and Straps are 13.5′ long)

Submitted by Mary Lou Moss


Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Events   

The Cultural Festival is coming up in one month!
October 15th is the registration deadline for Kona coffee vendors at the Ho`olaulea to be held at the Keahou Shopping Center on November 9th.
October 19th is the registration deadline for Web Site and Label entries to be displayed at the Sheraton Kona Resort from November 6th through the 10th with the winners to be announced on November 7th.
Entry forms are available on the KCFA Website  and the KCCF Website


smoky black bean soupSmoky Black Bean Soup

Eating Well magazine March/April 2011


  • 1 pound dried black beans (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped, 1/3 cup reserved for garnish
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups brewed KONA coffee
  • 1 ham hock (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Pick over beans; rinse well. Place in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. (Or use the quick-soak method: Cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil; simmer 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.) Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add all but 1/3 cup of the onions, bell pepper, celery, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the beans, water, coffee, ham hock (if using) and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam that rises to the top, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If using, remove the ham hock and set it aside to cool; remove the bay leaf. Stir in salt.
  3. Puree about half of the soup in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the pureed soup to the pot and heat through. If desired, cut meat off the ham hock, trim away any fat and chop the meat into small pieces; stir back into the soup.
  4. Serve the soup garnished with the reserved chopped onion, a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and cilantro, if desired.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; thin with a little water if necessary after reheating
  • Submitted by Anita Kelleher

    KCFA horiz logo 1.9 Xi

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