August 20, 2019
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September 2013 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association September 2013
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA


Letter from President
Colombias Comments on Safeway Lawsuit
Legislative Update
Trapping CBB Is It Worth It?
Beware the Big Bad Boar
Tidbits for Our Readers
Editor: Clare Wilson (mahalo nui!)

Letter From the President
Happy September Readers, and welcome to the latest edition of The Independent Voice – the monthly newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. Wanted to remind you that Your contributions to our Newsletter are encouraged and welcome. Help make The Independent Voice even better! Wed love to have Your input because its a sure bet that you have good ideas! Thinking of a subject youd like covered? Have an opinion youd like to share? Have a recipe to recommend? Send your ideas in by emailing Editor Clare Wilson at with the subject line <KCFA Newsletter>. Really looking forward to your contributions.
Mahalo, Cecelia Smith, President

Colombias Coffee Federation Comments on Safeways Kona Blend lawsuit
Here is a link to a very interesting article published by Caf de Colombia (the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation) concerning resolution of the Safeway Kona Blend lawsuit:

Two important takeaways from the article:

1KCFAs boycott of Safeway continues to draw attention to deceptive labeling of Kona Blends. More than 2 years after KCFAs initiation of its boycott against Safeway, the boycott continues to draw public attention to the use of the name Kona on packages that contain very little Kona coffee. Although the article inaccurately states that the class action case was brought by Kona coffee farmers the lawsuit was actually brought by a California consumer who was alerted to the deceptive labeling by the KCFA boycott, the Colombian Coffee Federation accurately observes that producers of Kona made it clear tothe public in general that there cannot be abuse of the origin and dedicated work of coffee producers.
2The Colombian government does a far better job of protecting the name of Colombian Coffee and the interests of Colombias coffee farmers than the Hawaii government does for Hawaii-grown coffee and the interests of Hawaii farmers. As described in the article, Colombia uses advanced technology to stop coffee counterfeiting; has obtained protection of Colombian Coffee as a geographical indication in 27 countries; and actively uses certification marks to protect the name of Colombian Coffee in the US and Canada. By contrast, Hawaii is the only region in the world to authorize the use of the name of one of its specialty agricultural crops (Kona) on packages with only 10% genuine contentand Hawaii governmental authorities are doing next to nothing to counteract misuse of the Kona name by marketers on the mainland.
Submitted by the Branding Committee.

Legislative Update

Discussion Meetings with Legislators: During the month of August KCFA participated in a number of discussion meetings with state and federal legislators and legislative aides. In each meeting CBB and other coffee-related issues were addressed. The meetings were: August 6Kona Rep. Nicole Lowen hosted a Lawmakers Listen forum with 8 state representatives, including House Speaker Joe Souki; August 7the USDAs Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) organized a meeting with legislative members of the State Finance Committee to discuss the CBB emergency; August 8US Senator Mazie Hirono hosted an informal discussion with coffee farmers and coffee buyers to discuss a range of coffee-related issues, including CBB; August 26KCFA hosted Senator Hironos Special Projects Director Patrick Devney at Chuck and Mary Lou Moss farm to give Patrick an introduction to coffee growing in Kona and to discuss coffee related issues; August 26Representing KCFA, Bob Smith attended a meeting with US Representative Colleen Hanabusa to discuss CBB, Black Twig Borer and other coffee issues. Among KCFA members attending one or more of these meetings were: Cea Smith, Suzanne Shriner, Colehour Bondera, David Case, Bruce Corker, Bob Smith, Mary Lou Moss, Chuck Moss, Kurt Schweickhard, and Tom Butler.

Mary Lou Moss, Patrick Devney & Chuck Moss

HB353 Requests for Proposals: During the KCFA Pre-Harvest Picnic, Konas HDOA entomologist Rob Curtiss invited KCFA to meet and discuss farmer perspectives on use of the $800,000 for matching grant funds authorized by the enactment of HB353 this past legislative session. In response to the invitation, Colehour Bondera, Cea Smith, Bob Smith and Bruce Corker met with Rob and CTAHR Extension Agent Andrea Kawabata on August 13. Rob and Andrea were encouraged to seek to have these matching grant funds directed to (1) programs directly subsidizing the cost to farmers of purchasing b. bassiana fungus; and (2) emergency research to rapidly develop–and to effectively communicate to farmersa clear, practical and cost-effective CBB mitigation program.
Submitted by the Legislative Committee.

Coffee blooms in August!! Happy Bee

Trapping CBB, is it worth my time and money?
A lot of coffee farmers have questions about CBB traps. Traps are NOT effective for controlling CBB, but they can be used as ONE of the available monitoring tools. If you want to control CBB, sanitation and the use of an insecticide like Beauvaria bassiana is recommended. Regular monitoring helps indicate when CBB is vulnerable to sprays. Remember that CBB populations can build up very quickly; within five months a single beetle could become 24 million beetles, so timing of sprays based on results of several monitoring methods is key.

So, now youre asking yourself, but why isnt the trap effective, it has a CBB lure and catches lots of stuff? The truth is that we dont currently have a CBB exclusive lure. It will attract a wide range of insects, including several virtually identical species found in Hawaii (ie. TNB, BTB, etc). In fact, the lure is so general that you could take it anywhere in the world and catch a wide variety of insects.

OK, so the trap catches lots of different kinds of bugs, but it catches lots of CBB right? Actually, trap catch analyzed by HDOA entomologists often have a higher number of TNB and BTB in them than CBB, and occasionally have no CBB when adjacent trees are infested. Dont assume that your trap has CBB, always check developing cherry to verify that CBB is present.

Well, should I use traps, or not? Each farmer once they understand that traps are not a control method, but can be used to help monitor trends can make this decision. Government or university employees are not here to tell farmers what to do, unless mandated by law, rather we provide you with information and options, and then you can make informed decisions for your farm. CBB is manageable, but it takes work and there is no single solution that will work on all farms, so well researched, verified integrated pest management techniques are recommended.

For the most comprehensive information on controlling CBB in Hawaii, refer to Recommendations for Coffee Berry Borer Integrated Pest Management in Hawaii 2013 by Kawabata et al. (
Submitted by RT Curtiss (HDOA) and A Kawabata (UH-CTAHR)

KCFA ad that will be in the 2013 Kona Coffee Cultural Magazine

Beware The Big Bad Boar

(Editors note the following incident happened to Hans Eckert in July but I neglected to get it in the August newsletter.)
Typing with one arm, the left one is in a sling; true story: I was attacked and gored by a wild boar on my farm yesterday. Kept him from charging up to the parking lot, though, where Karen and Marsha were about to get into the car. “My” two WWOOFer girls, Kristen and Truely, were terrific in helping to get him off me (he had knocked me down and kept hitting me; leg and thigh), with the Gator, and in then successfully chasing him down the driveway, and out of the gate (from where he disappeared into the wilderness). During their fight to get him out, he turned and charged the Gator multiple times. One of the guests who had run out, helped me get up and into my bathtub (with very visible tracks all the way), to wash things clean and then to apply layers of first aid. Nine stitches on my left leg in the clinic; others only required bandaging. Worst pain is in my left shoulder joint. When he went after my head (I was lying on the floor), I raised my arm, and he must have jerked it way out of joint — but it snapped back. Awaiting X-rays. Don’t be too hard on the beast: 100 lbs of pissed off testosterone black razorback were just doing what he’s supposed to. Yes, my “hog wire fence” is great to keep’em out, but also, if they ever get into the gate, to keep’em them in. I suppose I should really repair the automatic gate (after 2 years open) and have my shotgun repaired (not used in 15 years). I’m OK, but upset that I did not have a spear or machete…we’d be eating BBQ by now.

(Another editors note) A similar but much less disastrous wild pig encounter happened to me in January 2012. While walking down our driveway with our golden retriever, I noticed a very large black pig over in the coffee field. It started trotting toward the neighbors coffee as I assumed it would back toward the creek. Suddenly it turned and charged me, hitting me on my shin and tossing me in the air. I landed on my back and the pig started circling me. I was screaming in fear that it was going to start biting me, but there were no neighbors around that day. Then the pig just looked around and trotted off. I called neighbors that day to warn them and one called me back the next day to let me know that he had killed that pig the night before. Said it was over 200 pounds. It was a castrated boar so old that his one remaining tusk had curled back on his head so although he ripped a long patch up my shin there was no point on the tusk to cause more damage.

I talked to a biologist at DLNR who said that based on my description it was a senile boar which had lost the ability to correctly choose between fight or flee.
The golden retriever wisely stayed back away from the fray.

KCFAs PreHarvest Barbeque on August 11

A wonderful afternoon at Honaunau Bay! Visiting with old and new friends- over 85 attendees, talking and eating wonderful food brought by members and really enjoying the time spent with farmer friends!
as one attendee emailed the pasta salad, the potato salad! I dont know what it is about hamburgers and hot dogs at the beach..but.. fabulous food and a great time.

Many thanks to Marylou Moss, Kathy Wood, Anita Kelleher, Kurt Schweikchard, Cecelia Smith and their significant others for their help in making it such a success. And thank youto Rob Curtiss, HDOA entomologist for providing us with a brief update on the ongoing CBB and Black Twig Borer situation.

A big Mahalo to the following attendees who signed up to help the KCFA as volunteers in the future : James Slusser, Kathy Gedeon, Tony Ambut, Kally Goschke, Roland and Pat Fornataro, Miles Mulcahey, Dard Aller, Janel Panek, Sheana and Seung Woo Lee, Marc Paisin and Kris & Coralie of Pali Uli Farm. We all appreciate the goodwill. We tend to have more ideas than time, so the volunteers will really help to make it all more possible.

Tidbits for our Readers

makana o aloha gift of aloha for fellow farmers
Watching one farmer explain to another about packaging their roasted coffee in foil lined bags last week, prompted this:
Instead of getting a fancy scale to weigh out your coffee, buy one (10lb Digital USB Scale) from for 49.99 + postage. Instead of using an expensive heat sealer, buy a cheap non-steam clothes iron, set it to about permanent press and carefully iron the very top inch of the bag- on both sides. (Might take some practice to get the exact iron setting and stroke.) Tried and true. Both for under $100 and easily replaceable.
Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Check out the following link for some interesting information pro & con about our favorite beverage, coffee.
Submitted by Anita Kelleher

Web Site Speed-Up! at
At the annual KCFA Budget meeting for FY2014, it was heartily encouraged that we find a speedier server to host the KCFA website. All agreed it has been painfully slow and the Budget item was passed. Our KCFA programmer Valerie Finch just accomplished the somewhat daunting task this week. Take a look and notice the speedy response to your clicks. Please send any suggestions for further improvements to with the subject <Website Committee> and we will try to incorporate them.
Submitted by the Website Committee