June 24, 2019
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September 2017 The Independent Voice

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

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

Little Fire Ant Training
Website Redesign in Process
HDOA CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program
Last Fertilizer Application
Makana o Aloha
Promote your Website on the Hawaii Ag Products Portal
Slow Food Nations Conference
Sparkle Up Your Buy Direct Listing
Legalities of Buying Cherry
What is the current Cherry Price?
Salute to Supporting Business Member: I`iwi Kona Coffee
Recipe: Coffee Float
Write to Us

Editor – Clare Wilson

Little Fire Ant Training for Coffee Orchards – September 12 – Save the Date!

   Unfortunately, the Little Fire Ant (LFA) is showing up all over coffee farms from North to South Kona.  If you don’t have them yet, you will likely have them soon as they easily hitchhike on cars, people, coffee bags or even just tramping across property lines. These little buggahs are no joke, and can cause major problems for picking crews, pets, and even for you inside your home.  Their bite raises a welt that can be quite irritating for hours.
    KCFA is sponsoring a training session with the Hawaii Ant Lab on Tuesday September 12 at 4pm at CTAHR in Kainaliu. Because we are a food crop, there are some very specific “Do’s and Don’ts” for certain pesticides in our fields.  To combat these ants and to make sure we don’t leave residues in our crop, it’s important to understand the best way to safely combat them. 
If you are not sure if you have them yet, we highly recommend doing the “peanut butter chopstick” survey before the class.  Freeze the sticks and bring them to the class for proper identification.
    The Hawaii Ant Lab is online at http://www.littlefireants.com/
 –Submitted by Suzanne Shriner 

Website Redesign in Process

Aloha members and friends.  Your tech committee is in the process of a major redesign of our website to make it faster, cleaner and more accessible for our 3 main categories of visitor.  If you would like to be involved in this effort, please let us know.  It would also help with our design efforts if you could tell us “How do you use the website, if you do?”
Contact Chet or Cecelia  or through the KCFA Board of Directors web page at
–Submitted by Chet Gardiner

HDOA CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program

   The new State fiscal year began on 7/1/17, which was also the beginning of a new filing period for the CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program. Even if you applied in June, you can apply again now. 
   Currently, applications are accepted for purchases made from 7/1/16 through 6/30/17. Reimbursement is 50% on eligible receipts, up to $600 per acre and up to $9000 per farm.  
   An application is needed every year, however, since you applied last year, your tax numbers, lease, and ID are on file and unless anything expired – I just need your application & your original receipts (I will stamp them to show they have been filed, copy and return them to you). 
   The application is much the same as last year, and can be done online or on paper (print the attached pdf). Instructions are included. 
Gwen Hicks is available to help.  HDOA.CBB@hawaii.gov  Phone: 808-323-7578 

Last Fertilizer application for the year due now!

Trees are heavily laden with cherry and could use a boost from farmers. Do not apply too heavily. Inorganic fertilizer should be 10-5-20. Organic farmers should use a formulation high in Potassium/Potash.
FYI- the series of numbers is the percentage of (N) Nitrogen-(P) Phosphorus-(K) and Potassium/potash in the mixture. Fertilizer marked for example, 10-5-20 or 12-5-25 (note post publishing correction of 12, not 11 in previous formula) is specifically formulated for our coffee and has added minor elements- all essential for healthy growth.  If the middle number in the formula -phosphorous- is too high (recommended is 5%), beware, the phosphorous will eventually bind and accumulate in the soil and over time will become toxic. That’s why the recommendation for (P) Phosphorous is 5%.

 –Submitted by Bob Smith

 makana o aloha gift of aloha to fellow farmers

Watching one farmer explain to another about packaging their roasted coffee in foil lined bags last week, prompted this:

1) WEIGHING: Instead of getting a fancy scale to weigh out your coffee, buy one (25lb Digital USB Scale) from www.USPS.com for $35.00+ postage. From USPS website: <Electronic Postal & Freight Scale with USB connectivity. The USPS 25lb USB Postal & Freight Scale is perfect for home and office use. >
2) SEALING BAGS: 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.
 –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Promote your Website on the Hawaii Ag Products Portal  

   Promote your products and your website for free through the new HDOA ag portal. The department provides a link to the portal in promo materials handed out at trade shows and to buyers all over the world.   By listing your products, you can access a larger market without attending the shows in person. 
    The HDOA portal lists only Hawaii products, so you will need your GET number as well as your Business Registration number to register (find yours here: https://hbe.ehawaii.gov/documents/search.html).
    Registration is easy.  Click the big green Vendor button at https://hawaiiagrproducts.hawaii.gov.  Once they approve your registration, you will receive email approval to list the products you sell. Take advantage of this free promotional opportunity.

–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Slowly Protecting Pure Local Kona

Slow Food Nations, held on July 14-16 in Denver, CO (https://slowfoodnations.org/home/) was a great event for KCFA. As stated in the July, 2016 Independent Voice, work continues with geographical identity (origin) protection of Kona coffee at the Hawaiian (County and State), national and international levels through collaborations with both oriGIn (http://www.origin-gi.com) and Slow Food (https://www.slowfood.com) such as in Italy, where we participated and received the Parmigiano Reggiano award of recognition (2010) and attended the biennial Terra Madre event in Turin.  Through these efforts, KCFA members have Kona coffee recognized and protected at many levels – in ways outside of what is achievable by each farmer member.  Also, the Branding Committee worked with Hawaii Slow Food leadership, who coordinated with the US national office, and Kona coffee received the designation of Ark of Taste by Slow Food USA (2016) — an important recognition of a geographically identified crop/product (https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/pure-kona-coffee).  Denver was but one more step!
   A booth space at the Marketplace of Slow Food Nations was organized and held by KCFA to sample and offer sales of pure Kona coffee. To represent KCFA to the public, Kay Dixon, Karen Zulkowski and Colehour Bondera spent more than 20 hours each over the weekend to set up and communicate with the public. As the original organizer, and therefore as a Slow Food Hawaii Delegate, Mr. Bondera was able to participate in some of the delegate-only discussions and presentations, and to make some connections for KCFA. Slow Food at all levels supports protection of pure Kona coffee, therefore KCFA should take advantage of the collaborations.  Ongoing educations presentations happened in other parts of the event.
   Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA, welcomed the Delegates.  James Thompson, agricultural spokesperson for Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet, discussed how small-scale operators seek and need the support of governmental programs.  Slow Food is vital for such efforts – at both state and national levels we must be sure that small-scale producers’ voices are listened to, since farmer protection can happen in the US Senate too!  Finally, both Alice Waters, Slow Food BOD member and chef/owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, and Slow Food founder, Carlo Petrini encouraged Slow Food Nations to become an annual event.
   This was the first US national Slow Food Nations event (international Terra Madre has been since 2004), so it was difficult to anticipate attendance, as well as interest in Kona coffee.  Four (4) KCFA members made donations of green coffee to be used as KCFA support to prepare coffee (roasting and bagging) to bring to the event to sell, in order to help cover costs.  During the booth at the Marketplace (which was adjacent to the Slow Food Hawaii information booth) it was possible to sell all of the over 220 bags of 4oz roasted coffee which had been brought for sale.  Providing nearly 3,000 sample cups of coffee over the weekend, and talking with many attendees, Kona coffee was a good fit for this event.  Attendees were from Denver, Colorado and from around the US and the world.  People would purchase a bag of coffee, stating only, “thrilled to support an Ark of Taste product”.  We were constantly busy providing samples and discussing what Kona coffee is, and about obstacles faced in terms of blending, deceptive labelling and ways to seek true product.  Cards referring to the website link to, “Looking for Kona Coffee?” were shared for future marketing of individual farm brands.  Since KCFA is not a marketing organization (and does not sell individual farm brands), it is encouraged to have availability of KCFA coffee, made from purchased member coffee, on the website and at all PR events!
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera

 Sparkle up your Buy Direct Listing before the Harvest

HOW?  Check out your current Farm Listing by clicking here: https://www.konacoffeefarmers.org/buy-kona-coffee-direct-from-the-farmer/.  Enter your Farm Name under <Farm> which is in the yellow square on the upper right. See what others see.
If you want to update your Listing, go to www.KonaCoffeeFarmers.org and <Log In> upper right, and then enter your username and password. Then scroll down to the right hand and “click” on <Update your Farm and photos> and go for it! Add a new photo too!

Classified?  We could use some more action here! It’s a free Member benefit! Want to buy or sell something or your services- doesn’t even have to be about coffee!
Email info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with the subject <Classifieds> and your text (under 500 characters) and we’ll get it placed for you. FREE!

Questions? info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org and we’ll reply asap.
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Selling or Buying Cherry? You Need to Know This  

   New processors and new cherry dropoff stations are popping up all over Kona.  How do you protect yourself and ensure you get paid?  First off, every processor that buys cherry/parchment or green is required to have a Dealer’s License through HDOA.  This license must be posted at every cherry buying station as well as the mill.  No posted license?  Don’t sell cherry to them, as you have no recourse for late payments. 
   Second, every farmer must be paid within 30 days.  If your processor is late, you can file a complaint on HDOA form DL-14. The department will investigate and may yank their license to buy until farmer payments are caught up.  After the Mountain Thunder failure, HDOA is seeking to be more proactive in ensuring farmers get paid in a timely manner.  The system depends on farmer complaints to be effective.
   Should you come across a cherry processor illegally operating without a permit, please report them to the HDOA at 323-7589. Certain former processors have been denied HDOA permits on the basis of past non-payments to farmers.
    A number of KCFA farmers buy cherry for resale as 100% Kona and KCFA supports these small processors.  If you buy any amount of cherry, green or parchment and don’t yet have a Dealer’s Permit, visit http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/qad/commodities-branch/ and scroll down to Dealer Licensing for the form DL-2.  It is a one-time $40 fee.
-Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

 What is the Cherry Price Right Now?

Every year, we ask farmers to email us what they were paid for their cherry. We then post it to the KCFA website at https://www.konacoffeefarmers.org/about-kona-coffee/what-is-kona-worth/.  Our intent is to encourage competition among the buyers and make as much information as widely available as possible. Basic economic theory holds that competitive markets are based on freely available price information.

   Help us bring true price competition to Kona Coffee. If you sell, please let us know at info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org. We will post your info anonymously and it helps all farmers know the best market price for our beans. 

Salute to KCFA Business Member – I`iwi Kona Coffee

 I’iwi Kona Coffee is a Life Member of KCFA, having joined in 2013. Located in Honolulu, the company has expanded to include fine condiments, all made in Hawaii.
   From their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/iiwikonacoffee/about/?ref=page_internal here is a synopsis of the company:
      “With an esteemed 180 year history of Kona coffee from select family owned farms on the Big Island of Hawaii and the mastered excellence of artisan roasting, ‘I’iwi Kona Coffee Company has developed wonderfully rich and exclusive roasts”
      “Our Commitment to Quality: Working closely with select family farms on the Big Island of Hawaii, and having forged strong relationships with the best sources we select only the best Kona beans, which are 100% pesticide free, to ensure that we make the finest in Specialty Coffees. We specialize in the best quality 100% Kona coffee all artisanal roasted by a Master Roaster of over 20 years, Raymond Suiter.”

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

Recipe: Coffee Float
Serves 4
4 cups Kona coffee
4 oz. Irish Crème or Kona Coffee Liquer
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Put 1 scoop ice cream in coffee mug. Pour 1 oz liquer over ice cream. Fill mug with hot coffee.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write us. 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.