Contents Annual Meeting and Board Election KCFA Presents – Information Panels Discussing Coffee Leaf Rust Why a 51% Minimum for Coffee Blends is Important HTFG Plant Containment Greenhouse Reach Out to Your New Coffee Farmer Neighbors Coffee Manufacturers are Being Sued Tips & Tricks to make Coffee without a Coffee Maker UCC Launches UK’s Farmer Connect Blockchain Partnership Looking for a Unique Xmas Gift? Recipe: Boule de Neige Editor – Clare Wilson
Annual (2021) Meeting and Board Election
Aloha Friends & Neighbors:
With Hawaii now dealing with coffee leaf rust (CLR, caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix), coffee tree health will be our immediate focus. This means all of us must work together, to slow spreading and keeping our coffee healthy with strong immune systems.
Note that a number of observations have been shared in various informal ways from those who have other country experience with CLR, with statements that CLR was likely present in Hawaii before 2020. Though perhaps not “new” therefore, this is more reason to be quite serious about the formal identification.
As a farmer-needs based group, we will be seeking good coordination and collaboration to help KCFA members help each another. So if you are not already a member, please join, and consider helping with our new round of needs in terms of research, education and outreach to all the other farmers — using the internet as much as we can, or course.
Very exciting to note that our continued educational sessions on Thursday at 4:00pm, using the Zoom platform, have meant that topics and speakers can be there for membership and on December 3, 2020 there seems to be another one in the planning regarding shipments of green coffee and associated restrictions.
We need new Board members to step up and work together on CLR (and other topics). If you have interest in team work, and have skills in agricultural research, pathology, entomology, agricultural systems, information gathering, education, electronic communications, community outreach, group coordination, fundraising, and/or legislative actions, (among other foci), we need you. Please contact the newly appointed Election Nomination ad hoc Committee Chair, Bruce Corker (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will discuss plans with interested parties.
A strong Board will mean that we can work together to address and deal with problems that arise. As stated earlier, we will need to maintain healthy immune systems of ourselves and our farms to seek to hold fungal infections as bay. So please step up! Finally, on tentatively January 31, 2021, KCFA will hold our annual membership meeting. It will be a virtual meeting, meaning you attend via your computer or telephone. At the meeting we will review 2020, and elect new Board members.
Colehour Bondera (email@example.com), President
KCFA Presents – Information Panels Discussing Coffee leaf Rust
The introduction of Coffee Leaf Rust into the Hawai’ian islands and the spread of that crop threatening fungus has become a major issue for our farmer members. In order to respond to this issue with accurate and essential information about this crop disease, how to recognize it and what we can do to limit its effect on our farms and crop, we held 3 Zoom panel discussions and Q&A in November. These discussions have been recorded and the videos posted at our KCFA YouTube Channel.
Nov. 12: Identifying and Mitigating Damage from Coffee Leaf Rust
Dr. Lisa Kieth of USDA
Luiz Aristazabál of SHAC https://youtu.be/A6dnEh0VrTc
Nov. 19: Farm and Crop Insurance
Shannon Antonini of American Agcredit Crop Insurance
Bonnie Lind of Lind Insurance Services https://youtu.be/DAmyLPkn_9s
We are planning on future Zoom sessions that will continue to provide accurate, up to the minute
information about the spread of Coffee Leaf Rust and mitigation efforts that are being taken to limit its spread and minimize its impact on our farms. –Submitted by Chet Gardiner
Why a 51% Minimum for Blends is Important
With the start of the Hawaii Legislature’s 2021 Session just around the corner, we should each remind ourselves of why reform of Hawaii’s coffee labeling law and adoption of a 51% minimum for Hawaii coffee “blends” is important to the economic interests of coffee farmers and important to protecting our “Kona Coffee Heritage”. A review of the following three documents will provide that reminder:
1—HAWAII COUNTY COUNCIL RESOLUTION NO. 501-14
Kona’s Council Member Brenda Ford drafted and shepherded this Resolution to unanimous adoption in 2014. On behalf of Hawaii County and on behalf of the County’s coffee farmers (whose farms make up more than 90% of the State’s coffee farms), this Resolution calls for a 51% minimum of genuine origin coffee in “Hawaii Coffee Blends” and identification on the label of the origin of the imported coffee in “blends”. This is the strongest of calls for Hawaii to stop being the only region in the world to allow by law the use of its geographical origin names on packages containing only 10% genuine content. To read the Resolution, click here.
2—THE FELDMAN STUDY
In 2010 San Francisco-based resource economist Marvin Feldman published a study entitled, “Economic Effects of Blending Kona Coffee—A Preliminary Analysis”. Feldman’s analysis concludes that the blenders were gaining up to $14.4 million annually in “economic rent” (excess profits) from use of the “Kona” name on 10% Kona blends—and that Kona farmers were suffering economic loss that might equal or exceed that $14.4 million annual amount. Dividing $14.4 million by an estimated 700 Kona coffee farms indicates that in 2010 the average Kona farm was losing about $20,000 per year because of the marketing of 10% Kona blends. In the 10 years since the Feldman study was published, the analysis suggests that the average Kona farm has lost about $200,000 (unadjusted for inflation), and the blenders have taken about $144,000,000 in excess profits (also unadjusted for inflation). To read the Feldman Study, click here.
3— “A CUP OF ALOHA”
Author Gerald Kinro’s book, “A Cup of Aloha–The Kona Coffee Epic”, describes the events that led to the Hawaii 10% coffee blend statute. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Kona farmers and Hawaii County’s Council on Economic Development were concerned about the fraudulent use of the “Kona” name by coffee marketers. In 1991 Hawaii County representatives and Kona growers asked the State Legislature to enact a law requiring at least 51% of a blend be Kona-grown coffee before the name “Kona” could be used on a coffee blend label—and that the origin of the non-Hawaiian coffee in a blend be disclosed. However, led by C. Brewer Company (the owner of Superior Coffee), the blenders exercised their economic and political muscle to reduce the requirement to 10%. Kona coffee farmer and community leader Michael Craig called the 10% law “a misuse of the cultural heritage of Hawaii” and coffee grower and processor Tom Greenwell described the new law as “false advertising”. For 30 years, coffee growers have been seeking to have Hawaii stop the fraud and support the interests of its farmers. To read an excerpt from the Kinro book, click here. -Submitted by Bruce Corker
HTFG Plant Containment Greenhouse
KONA, HAWAI‘I—After 2.5 years of planning and construction, the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) boasts a new state-of-the-art containment greenhouse. Approved by the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture (HDOA) last week, the facility is situated in South Kona.
The $263K greenhouse, funded mainly by the state’s Grants-in-Aid program, will provide fruit growers with insect and disease-free plant resources imported from around the world.
“The greenhouse enables us to bring in, effectively isolate and safely propagate fruit we believe will be productive in Hawai‘i,” explains Mark Suiso, HTFG president. “Hawaii did not evolve naturally with fruit. This facility has technology that will allow us to efficiently introduce desired plants and evaluate them to assure they can safely be released and grown in our state.”
To ensure introduced plants don’t bring in any unintended problems, the 30 X 30-foot greenhouse is surrounded by a five-inch moat and 15-foot concrete barrier and further secured by an electric fence and security system. Specialized USDA-approved micro screen walls will prevent any insects from gaining access and limited staff entry to the greenhouse is through double doors. A solid, specialized plastic roof tops the greenhouse and interior halls between the greenhouse’s eight rooms are blackened with insect traps in each room and hallway.
Ken Love, HTFG executive director, says greenhouse waste water will be treated with bleach before released into a holding tank and finally a septic system. “There is always a concern that water passing through growing media could contain bacteria that might have been missed in the initial plant inspections,” he details. “The bleach treatment will kill any bacteria or virus that travels from the dirt to the drains and into the holding tank.”
According to Love, all chosen imported plants will go through five stages of inspection: by HTFG on-site at exporting farm, by country of origin’s Dept. of Agriculture, by USDA upon arrival in Honolulu, by HDOA in Honolulu, and finally by HTFG before entering greenhouse. Imported plant stock will arrive as small, bare-root trees or cuttings.
Once the seedlings are received at the Kona greenhouse, they will be potted in a sterile and organic nursery mix.
HTFG members will decide what plants to import and clone and they will be quarantined in the 900-square-foot greenhouse over a two-year period before released. The project’s six rooms can each hold about 1,000 trees and two, small tube pot rooms can hold up to 4,000 seedlings.
Love shares virtually unknown fruit like sweet-sour tampoi has “great economic potential” for Hawaii growers as does the creamy, sweet and savory durian, which can currently be exported from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland.
“We have already arranged to bring in 500 hachiya persimmons from Japan and 1,000 durian from the Philippines,” adds Love. “Other trees are being grown out for us in Borneo, Queensland and India.”
In addition, the specialized containment greenhouse enables HTFG to apply for a specialized Controlled Import Permit to bring in new varieties of citrus and mango. This more restrictive permit is required as Hawaii is already growing citrus and mango and prevention of introducing new pathogens to existing crops is crucial.
Once plants are settled in the greenhouse, smart monitoring systems will result in little interaction between plants and people as the goal is to minimize exposure between the confines of the greenhouse and the outside world.
To nurture seedlings in a controlled setting, the greenhouse has a timed irrigation system that controls misting, fogging and spraying to mimic ideal growing conditions, including those of the equatorial rainforest. Each growing room has Wi-Fi sensors for monitoring and recording temperature and humidity readings.
“The precise production of desired growing conditions will produce healthier plants more quickly,” notes Love. “This includes cuttings from most citrus, Chou ume plum and any desired local plants like those in the mountain apple family.”
The new greenhouse is a sister project to HTFG’s existing statewide fruit tree repositories where trees are available for sharing among organization members, plus to the public at periodic sales. Love says distribution of the greenhouse’s resources will be similar.
“Ultimately, we want to see a diverse selection of fruit grown productively throughout the state and with little dependence on importing it from outside the state,” adds Suiso.
HTFG especially appreciates the funding efforts of state legislators Mike Gabbard, Richard Creagan, Donovan Dela Cruz and Nicole Lowen. Mahalo to Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, Sharon Hurd, Lance Sakaino and Clare Okumoto of the HDOA; Mike Scharf, Matthew Goo, Peter Follett and Dorothy Alontaga of the USDA; Dr. Robert Paull and Andrea Kawabata of the University of Hawaii; and Kenneth and Ader Takaki of Ken’s Masonry, Mark Dixon Construction and Diamond Sprinklers.
Thanks also to HTFG members statewide, especially Brian Lievens, Greg Garriss, Chuck Cope, Shinobu Doucette and Xavier Chung.
Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers
Marking its 31st year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.HTFG.org. –Submitted by Barbara Anderson
Reach Out to Your New Coffee Farmer Neighbors
During the past nine months KCFA and KCFA members—along with everyone else—have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Monthly in-person KCFA Board meetings, to which members are invited to attend, have been replaced by Zoom meetings. Our traditional on-farm educational workshops have not been scheduled. Our EXPO, KCFA social events, and the annual dinner/auction have not been held.
Although we have all been affected, new coffee farmers have in many ways been impacted even more by the “socially distanced” environment. The following questions sent in a recent email by a new farmer to the KCFA Membership Committee illustrate some of the impact:
“Is there some kind of meet up in the future that I can go to meet coffee farmers? What is your recommendation to get to know the community? Is the Keauhou farmers market a good place to meet Kona coffee farmers? Any suggestions you have for me to meet and greet some coffee farmers? Please let me know.”
If you have new coffee farmer neighbors, please take the time to reach out and welcome them to the Kona coffee farming community. Offer to answer questions they may have. Invite them to visit your farm and (socially distanced) see your farming operations. AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, encourage them to join the KCFA. Our newsletter, “The Independent Voice”, continues to be published monthly and provides a helpful introduction to coffee farming and to current coffee-related issues. And assure them that when things move back toward normalcy, the KCFA’s workshops, social events, and other activities will return and provide further avenues to inclusion in the KCFA community. –Submitted by Bruce Corker
The Reason So many Coffee Manufacturers are Being Sued
ByCoffeeBUZZPosted on November 3, 2020
“On October 28th, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported a massive uptick in class action lawsuits against large coffee brands. The manufacturers facing the slew of lawsuits in particular are Kroger, Walmart, Folgers, and Kraft Heinz. Each brand faces the same accusation: the amount of cups of coffee produced by each product is less than what is advertised on said product’s packaging…”
A Few Tips and Tricks to Learn How to Make Coffee Without Using a Coffee Maker
“MILAN – How to make coffee without a coffee maker has become a trending topic of late, due to the fallout from COVID-19 lockdown. This situation has led to the increase in demand for home brew coffee, and suddenly out of the blue many coffee lovers are now faced with a different challenge, of not owing a coffee machine or the needed coffee accessories….”
UCC Coffee Launches UK’s First Farmer Connect Blockchain Partnership
“LONDON, UK — UCC Coffee has partnered with farmer connect, a coffee traceability platform powered by IBM Blockchain, to launch UCC’s first ever blockchain traced coffee. Retailers and consumers can now trace Orang Utan Coffee – licensed and distributed in the UK by UCC – back to its Indonesian origin using farmer connect’s ‘Thank My Farmer’. This pioneering blockchain launch of Orang Utan Coffee¹ also signifies two new firsts for ‘Thank My Farmer’ itself – the addition of the UK as a consumer market and Indonesia as an origin…”
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup freshly brewed strong coffee
1 cup sugar
1½ cups butter
6 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp Cognac (optional)
1 pint heavy cream, whipped & sweetened
Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Line a 2 quart stainless steel mixing bowl with a single piece of heavy duty foil. Butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt chocolate with coffee and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add butter in pieces, whisking to combine. Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in beaten eggs. Pour into prepared bowl. Place in lower third of oven and bake for 60 t0 65 minutes. It will rise, crack and become crusty and dry around edges. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.
To serve, turn the dessert upside down onto a plate. Peel off the foil and trim to make a nice shape. Frost with whipped cream and decorate. Chill till served. To serve, cut with a hot knife, wiping the blade between slices.
Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write to 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.