May 24, 2018
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October 2016- The Independent Voice

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

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA              

KCFA Membership Chair Needed
Coffee & Art Stroll Request
Follow-up on “Made in Hawaii”
Coffee Pods & the Environment
The Mosses are Coming to Town
Could Caffeine Prevent Dementia?

Coffee & Guatemala in 2016
Recipe: Easy Coffee Mousse
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson

Look at this gorgeous cherry coffee!

Photo Credit: Gary T. Ota, DVM-KCFA Member


KCFA Needs YOUR Help!
The KCFA Member Chair is leaving and we need someone who wants to strengthen and support their 100% Kona community by volunteering to take on the job. You need a computer, very basic computer skills, a willingness to learn a bit and a few hours a week. You can work from your home. You don’t really need to be a Board Member-either.

Our Member renewal system is fully automated so the work involves sending requested usernames/passwords that you access when Members forget; sending a list of proposed new Members and a tally of the past month’s numbers before the monthly Board Meeting. Good help is available to get you going and support will always be available for you. Please email with the subject-Membership.
 Mahalo Mahalo Mahalo
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

18th Annual Holualoa Coffee & Art Stroll

Aloha Members,
On Saturday, November 5, 2016 we will be co-sponsoring the 18th Annual Holualoa Coffee and Art Stroll with Holualoa Village Association.
It runs from 9am-3pm. As always KCFA will have a booth signing up new members and selling our “stuff.” Any donations of honey, mac nuts, jams or other farm items will be greatly appreciated to sell at the booth! 
Also, we need VOLUNTEERS to man the booth for a few hours. It is a fun experience and helps out your Kona Coffee Farmers Association. Greet the folks and enjoy some conversation. 
KCFA tries to educate and answer the farmers’ needs as well as promoting 100% Kona Coffee. It is a small thing to come out and work at a booth for a few hours in return. Don’t you think?
This year is shaping up well with all the galleries participating in historic and beautiful Holualoa. Farmers and food vendors galore! Come join us and help celebrate and promote 100% Kona Coffee.
If you wish to volunteer or have items to donate email or call 305-394-2248

 –Submitted by Anita Kelleher

Follow-Up Thoughts on “Made in Hawaii”

Last month’s “Independent Voice” (September 2016) had an article on “Made in Hawaii” and the marketing power of the “Hawaii” brand–with a link to very interesting article from Hawaii Business Magazine
Deep in the article, however, are the following 3 paragraphs that should raise concerns for all Hawaii farmers about “Made in Hawaii” labeling:
Nonetheless, the Hawaii brand is so powerful that companies with little or no connection to the state continue to use it. Hawaiian Punch and Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Potato Chips, for example, do not contain any ingredients that originate in the state. Global restaurant chain Trader Vic’s, which features the “Original Mai Tai,” has its roots in California. Perhaps most troubling is the use of Kona coffee on products with as little as 10 percent of its beans from the region. [emphasis added]

                “There’s no other place in the world that doesn’t protect its brand like Hawaii,” says state Sen. Russell Ruderman. “And we have a powerful brand name that has an image for the best quality. We should be protecting that. It’s worth money. If we dilute it or let anybody call anything Hawaiian, we’re going to lose the brand name.”

                 Ruderman is advocating for state laws that do not allow companies to use geographic names without following guidelines. “Most places in the world protect their geographic identity. You can’t call something Idaho potatoes if it’s not grown in Idaho. Hawaii doesn’t do that at all. You can say Hawaii mac nuts even if it’s not from here.”

Unfortunately, current Hawaii law allows the use of “Product of Hawaii”, “Island Maid”, and “Made in Hawaii” on packages of food products where little or none of the food ingredients were grown in Hawaii.  All that is required for “Made in Hawaii” labeling is that at least 51% of the value of the product (including manufacturing, packaging, assembly, fabrication, production, and other costs) was added in the state. 

An example of the problem faced by Hawaii farmers:   Next time you are on a Hawaiian Airlines flight, take a close look at the label of the Passion-Orange-Guava drink passed out by the flight attendants.  The label says “Product of Hawaii” and “Island Maid” and most passengers believe that they are enjoying a drink from fruit grown in Hawaii by island farmers.  Although the sugar is Maui-grown, the guava puree, passion fruit, and orange juice concentrates are generic products from undisclosed origins.

The observations made by Sen. Ruderman in the Hawaii Business article should be applauded by farmers. At a minimum Hawaii law needs to be amended to require disclosure of the origin of non-Hawaii-grown food ingredients in any package carrying “Made in Hawaii” or “Product of Hawaii” on the label.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

Coffee Pods & the Environment


“Coffee pods have to be one of the more pitiful innovations of modern society. Rather than dumping ground coffee into a filter and topping it with hot water to get your cup of joe, coffee pod machines, made famous by Keurig, allow you to add a layer of plastic or aluminum waste to the process.

The pods themselves are cups the size of a shot glass that contain pre-ground coffee or tea; you insert a pod into the machine, which punches a hole in the top and floods it with water, creating a single serving of a beverage.

As I discovered when writing about them in 2014, most coffee pods are not recyclable. Even when they are made of recyclable materials, they are too small for most recycling facilities.

Now, Mars Inc.’s beverage division, which has its own pod brewing machine, is bragging in a press release about the sustainability of its newly designed pods. (Mars calls them “freshpacks,” and they’re more like pouches than pods.)…”

To read the entire article, click on this link:
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Mary Lou and Chuck Moss to Visit
Former Kona coffee farmers and enthusiastic volunteers, Mary Lou and Chuck Moss are planning a trip to Kona in October. For those of you who would like to catch up with them, they will be at Anita & Jim Kelleher’s booth at the Farmers’ Market near K-Mart from 3 to 6 PM on Wednesday, October 26th. Welcome back!

Could Caffeine Help Prevent Dementia?

 The string of medical studies suggesting health benefits from drinking coffee continues.

A September 28, 2016 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes a new study published by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher Ira Driscoll.  The study of 6,467 women age 65 or older found that consumption of the caffeine contained in two to three cups of coffee per day is associated with a 36% reduction in dementia.  Driscoll observes, “The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting.”

 To read the full article, go to
 –Submitted by Bruce Corker

Coffee in Guatemala in 2016
Sent by Partners of the Americas to provide Farmer to Farmer advice regarding organic certification (for non-coffee crops) in Guatemala, it was a great opportunity to add trip time to get up to speed with what farmers are doing in the country with coffee at this time.  The time with Farmer to Farmer was spent primarily with two producer/owners of operations and processing facilities (Oscar Arce of Aminentos Rincon Grande focused mainly on dragonfruit, and Alfredo Toriello of Legume, which farms and distributes primarily a range of fresh greens.)
To the goal of coffee information, a number of additional activities were added in the country, notably a visit to one of the eight regions of coffee production, coordinated with the staff at Anacafe (the 55 year old non-profit; National Coffee Association – seeágina_principa), which is the recognized and legally responsible organization that handles coffee for the country.  Since most certified organic operations in the country are coffee which is primarily exported, it was a helpful overlap  that Oscar Acre accompanied me on the early visit with staff members at Anacafe.

When sent in 2011 to Huatulco, Mexico to present regarding the origin designation of Kona coffee with a national gathering about such products, another of the presenters was Edith Flores de Molina from Guatemala who represents Anacafe (as a manager and legal advisor).
Because of the efforts of Anacafe and the willingness to collaborate, it was possible to coordinate with an Anacafe extension agent (José Carlos Mauricio Merida) in the “Traditional Atitlan” area (note that there are eight distinct coffee regions in the country which has over 90,000 coffee farms).  Specifically, from Panajachel where I travelled by bus, it was necessary to take a small boat to San Juan La Laguna which is one of the towns where coffee is a main crop for the residents.  These towns are all around the large lake.

Note that in the 1800’s Guatemala typica made it to Hawaii and since then has been the focus of agriculture in the Kona area.  While people in Guatemala are aware of the coffee history, they offer, “A Rainbow of Choices” in terms of where the various coffee varieties that are presently produced are growing in various of the very different environmental conditions.  These include typical, but are predominated by bourbon, caturra and catuai.
In the photo all the coffee is young green, since the country coffee harvest does not begin until December and is completed everywhere by the end of May.  To review details in a very well presented and complete layout and outreach opportunity, it is worthwhile to review the Green Book, available in English and also can be reviewed electronically at
When meeting with the staff in San Juan La Laguna, it was important to meet as well and be toured by the Manager of Café La Voz which is a cooperative of 200 certified organic coffee farms in that area.  One of the important conversations was that for economic vitality of the group that they have coordinated with local and national and international players and established a complete processing facility for their coffee, which is fairly uncommon in Guatemala and very uncommon as the small scale.  In this way they are able to sell their products directly to visitors/tourists, which are a significant component of Guatemala’s overall income.
One point of significant interest is that diversity of variety is how the farmers have been able to survive over the years with “new” pests and diseases.  So while in many areas that border on residential areas, coffee has actually been bought out by real estate developers and there is therefore regular “abandoned” coffee, in areas such as San Juan La Laguna it is a mans for the locals to survive economically and they must be using varieties and management which addresses pest problems. 
Hope that this brief overview gives you insight into how in another part of the world coffee continues to be complicated, difficult and at the end of the day something that many farmers continue cultivating.  Look forward in coming months (looks like January, 2017, at this time considering coffee harvest!) to a presentation where more pictures, detail and discussion will be brought together on this amazing experience.
 –Submitted by Colehour Bondera

Recipe: Easy Coffee Mousse
16 large marshmallows
1/3 cup hot coffee
1 pint Cool Whip
Melt marshmallows in hot coffee. Let cool and fold into Cool Whip. Serve in sherbet glasses
Serves 4

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