July 18, 2019
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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.