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Kona coffee farmers want HB 280 vetoed

By Treena Shapiro

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:43 a.m. HST, May 02, 2012

 star-advertiser The Kona Coffee Farmers Association wants coffee blenders to identify where all of the coffee in a blend came from, and to list it by specific percentages.

Kona coffee farmers are asking the governor to veto a bill that removes mandatory certification requirements for Hawaii-grown coffee.

The bill was one of dozens that cleared the full House and Senate on Tuesday, two days before the end of the 2012 legislative session.

On Thursday, lawmakers will vote on the remaining measures, including the $11.2 billion state budget bill and related fiscal measures.

Kona coffee farmers have opposed House Bill 280 throughout the session. The measure addresses a staffing shortage at the state Department of Agriculture, which has had to eliminate all but one coffee inspector position in West Hawaii Island.

Currently, coffee labeled as Kona-grown must be inspected and certified by the state. The inspectors verify that blends labeled as Kona actually contain at least 10 percent Kona-grown coffee.

If the bill becomes a law, however, inspections will become voluntary and growers will provide their own documentation of the coffee’s origin.

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Bothrops wrote:
Kona farmers already have a tough time with invasive bugs, why would we want to devalue their "brand" this way? Can't we help the state's agriculture thrive instead?
on May 1,2012 | 09:26PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
It is a sad day when farmers have to worry more about growing political relationships, then growing crops.
on May 1,2012 | 10:22PM
bender wrote:
The Kona farmers are the ones who are letting the inferior grade coffees get into the market place. They want the premium label for their best coffees but don't want the lesser grades to be identified as coming from the same area. If they truly only want their premium grades hitting the worlds market places then quit selling your rejects to the blenders.
on May 2,2012 | 05:38AM
dako wrote:
One reason the Department of Agriculture wants this bill vetoed is that they stand to loose a lot of money in inspection fees. What the public is unaware of is that the lone coffee inspector in Kona has been given a major promotion to District Supervisor/Coffee Specialist with basically no one to supervise. Isn't it easier to justify a promotion when there is a mandatory inspection that draws in a lot of money, than a voluntary one that will cut inspection cost and time to the coffee industry?
on May 2,2012 | 05:57AM
cojef wrote:
Never liked self policing as it only serve their interests, which is driven by money, and not quality. For that matter most the Kona coffee are not 100% pure, more like 10%, and blended with other imported green beans. As my post yesterday indicated I do not buy any Kona coffee beans anymore and further other green coffee beans are just as good. It's how you roast the coffee, whether espressor or dark roast. The robustness of the coffee aroma is dependent on the roast. I like espresso so it is more brownish than black. Roast every other week and grind my roasts every morning. This is the only way to drink coffee. Store bought coffee is for the birds.
on May 2,2012 | 08:16AM
hanoz808 wrote:
is there any site to show support of the farmers?
on May 2,2012 | 07:49AM
Kuokoa wrote:
Maybe the cofee farmers need to be certified as AUTHENTIC
on May 2,2012 | 09:09AM
news333 wrote:
Get the yield of the farms and then look at sales. If sales far exceed the yield then something is fishy. Buying beans or exchanging them with an out of state buyer is the giveaway. Caveat Emptor.
on May 2,2012 | 10:04AM
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