September 20, 2018
Home < Kona Labeling < Kona 10 Percent Blend Law – KCFA Position Statement and Resolution

Kona 10 Percent Blend Law – KCFA Position Statement and Resolution

KCFA represents the farmer’s voice to our legislators.

10 Percent Blend Law – Position Statement and Resolution


Adopted by KCFA Board of Directors, April 19, 2006

It is the position of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association
1) THAT Hawaii’s “10% Kona coffee blend” statute (HRS 486-120.6) damages the reputation of Kona coffee and damages the economic interests of Kona’s coffee farmers; and
2) THAT “10% Kona coffee blends” are confusing to consumers, who often don’t know what they are buying; and
3) THAT buyers of “10% Kona coffee blends” often mistakenly believe they are buying a blend of several Kona-grown coffees; and
4) THAT the 10% Kona portion in a “10% Kona coffee blend” cannot be tasted and that no reputable professional coffee taster would say otherwise; and
5) THAT basic economic analysis shows that inflated prices and inflated profits obtained from “10% Kona coffee blends” can reasonably be attributed only to the deceptive use of the “Kona” name on the package; and
6) THAT “10% Kona coffee blends” damage Kona coffee’s reputation as one of the world’s best specialty coffees and diminish the value of the Kona name; and
7) THAT this damage to reputation and value is dramatically illustrated by the December 2004 article in Consumer Reports magazine in which the writers confused “Kona coffee blends” with “Kona coffee” and concluded that Kona
coffee can be “second rate” on the basis of a mistaken belief that “Kona blends” are “Kona coffee”; and
8) THAT Alexander Ho, Market Development Branch, Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, has stated that Kona coffee growers and marketers are missing major opportunities for marketing in Asia, with emphasis on Mainland China (PRC) and Taiwan, because consumers there are confused by blends and blends hurt the 100% Kona product; and
9) THAT to our knowledge no other state permits the use of its agricultural geographic identities (eg, Washington Apples; Florida Oranges; Vidalia Onions; Idaho Potatoes; Napa Valley Wines) on as minimal and deceptive a basis as Hawaii permits in “10% Kona coffee blends”; and
10) THAT because Hawaii law will be the basis of federal protection of the Kona coffee name, Hawaii must improve its statutory protections before effectively seeking national legislation to address misuse of the “Kona coffee” name on the Mainland; and
11) THAT 100% Kona coffee is one of Hawaii’s premier agricultural products as to which the State can be very proud and should protect from damaging exploitation;

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING BE IT RESOLVED that the Kona Coffee Farmers Association REQUESTS THAT Hawaii legislators revise HRS 486-120.6 to
A) PROHIBIT the use of the “Kona” name on connection with any coffee blend packaging which does not contain a minimum of 75% Kona coffee by weight; and
B) REQUIRE prominent identification on the packaging of any “Kona coffee blend” the geographic origin and percentage by weight of any United States- grown coffee and the country of origin and percentage by weight of any foreign coffee.


  1. I ran across your website in reference to your lawsuit with Safeway over their Kona blend. I regularly drink that particular blend – it has a taste that I enjoy at a price I am willing to pay for a ‘daily’ coffee. For what it is worth, I have never had any illusions that I was drinking pure Kona, nor do I find the word ‘blend’ to be misleading. I do think it was the right move to force them to acknowledge the origin of the rest of the blend, and I would even support you in pushing for the necessity of a higher content than 10% or perhaps to require the percentage on the package, but to block the use of ‘Kona’ on any blend less than 75% would simply serve to eliminate this product from the market place.

    In my opinion, it takes a fairly dull consumer to assume that they can get a completely equivalent product for a quarter the price.

  2. Let the customer decide. For people who visit Hawaii and when English is not their first language, anything that contains only “10% Hawaiian grown” is hard to catch and is usually not what they want. Somehow coffee is able to slide in under a different standard. I would not want to eat 10% Hawaiian beef, 10% hawaiian pineapple, 10% Hawaiian macadamia nuts, or have a “poke” bowl of 10% Hawaii caught ahi and 90% Costco caught fish. I agree with labelling the origins of all the coffee. But already the market for coffee is creating he demand for higher quality.

  3. I think it is a mistake to have a law that legalizes any particular coffee blend short of 100% Kona.
    Instead have a law that requires a coffee label to be transparent and give full disclosure of the contents of the package. A law that also requires the SIZE of the print on the label to reflect the percentage of the content. In other words allow any and all percentages of Kona Coffee with foreign coffees, but require the size of the print to reflect the percentage of any blend with foreign coffee. If the blend is a 10% Kona Coffee and 90% Columbian Coffee, then the Print of Columbian would be ten times or 1,000% larger than the print that says Kona Coffee. The size of the print would inform the prospective buyer what the blend is. If the blend is 50%, then the size of the print saying Kona and Columbian would be the same size.
    This kind of statute would not prohibit, or mandate any particular Blend. It would assist the purchaser to have full disclosure of the contents of the package or bag. It would give incentive to sell 100% KONA COFFEE, without mandating any particular Blend.
    YES, TRUTH IN LABELING.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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