Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Board of Directors meeting
KCFA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING—MONDAY, April 15, 2019
Yano Hall, Kealakekua
The Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s mission is to promote and protect Kona farmers’ economic interests in 100% Kona coffee, to protect the Kona coffee heritage, and to seek greater legal protection of the Kona coffee name.
CALL TO ORDER— 3:00 pm
Suzanne Shriner, president
Colehour Bondera x
Bruce Corker x
Kay Dixon x
Jim Monk x
Cecelia Smith x
Sandra Scarr x
Suzanne Shriner x
Tari Sparks x
Karen Zulkowski x
Consent Agenda – (5 min)
Approval of March Minutes
Approval of Membership Applications
Acceptance of Committee Reports
Sanda moves to accept and Cea seconds
Treasurer’s Report – Jim In abnsentia (5 min)
Discussion- Kay asked a question about grant money. Explanation of how grant money received by Suzanne and Karen.
Motion to defer treasurer repot Sandra and second Tari
Results of Survey to Members (10 minutes) – Suzanne
Education and promotion of Kona coffee are top 2 interests. Suzanne suggested sending out information to committees. Sandra spoke to cherry selling and concerns raised on survey. Terri asked about mentorship program for new farmers. Karen and Terri will work on this. Karen asks about survey for non-renewing members.
Will discuss with Arturo about fertilizer discounts. Armando will also ask Simplot.
Karen will check out health insurance. Find out liability insurance companies.
Thank you to Suzanne for doing the survey
Executive Session (10 minutes) – Bruce
In 1998 the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) AFIS adopted a binding regulation against importing unroasted coffee into Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but they the State of Hawaii continued to allow the importation of methyl bromide fumigated coffee. Hawaii State knew there was a problem and in or about 2005 asked APHIS for the rule to be changed to allow the importation of treated coffee. In 2006 APHIS wrote the Hawaii Department of Agriculture that it had determined the risks of introduction of CBB, Coffee Rust and other diseases and pests from the importation of fumigated green coffee was too great and that Hawaii’s requested change to the regulation would not be adopted. The State of Hawaii has through the present continued to allow the importation of fumigated green coffee. In 2010, as APHIS feared would happen, CBB was found to have been introduced into Hawaii. KCFA has have asked for additional documents and information related to this matter—and we are awaiting responses. It appears that Hawaii has been in knowing violation of this federal law for years—and that there may be a basis for legal action seeking an injunction to enforce the law—and for damages. While awaiting more information and documents, this should be treated as a confidential matter.
Green Coffee Grade Standards (5 minutes) – Suzanne
Current rules sunset in July 2020. HDOA needs to do this. First change in 2014. This was a benefit to farmers. HCA adopted a resolution asking for an extension for 3 years to have dept of ag look at changes. Bruce asks for us to work with other coffee groups to ask for a further extension. Bruce recommends we express concern that we are too close to date to get the study needed done. Sandra suggests we get together and offer to take the lead on what we want the standards to be. Bruce wants HOA to get started on an extension.
Branding, Origin and Estate (5 minutes) – Colehour
American Origin Products Association in Washington DC. Colehour attended the meeting. (See his meeting report). Thank you to Colehour for attending. Suzanne asked how AOPA could help with PR for Kona coffee. Organizations don’t have funds to do much. Bruce suggested that it would be helpful if AOPA issued a news release about the lawsuit and the importance of the federal Lanham Act in protecting our country’s origin products.
Expo (10 minutes) – Karen
Expo went well. The final report is due and the survey will be sent to all vendors.
2020 Events (5 minutes) – Cea/Suzanne
SCAA in Seattle and features Hawaii
Slow Foods (5 minutes) – Kay/Colehour
The brochures were done. We need to get business cards and to get donations of coffee. Kay will draft email for Cea to send email to member for donations July 19. Need the donations by June 5 to Kay.
Coffee Certification and Supply Chain (5 minutes) – Suzanne
Block chain thinks they can do a pilot program this summer to promote farmer direct green coffee. Suzanne will write a grant to state for pilot money.
Coffee May meeting coffee will be Jim Monk
Our Expo was a good success – thanks to Karen and all the volunteers who worked long and hard! A preliminary financial report on the Expo shows we have income so far of $9,000 and expenses of $8,665. So, we did well.
We received $7,200 in grant money during March which makes the whole month look very rosy. We also had a number of new members that brought in $475. Our merchandise sales continue at a steady pace. Overall, March income was almost $8,000.
Expenses were substantial as we paid for the Expo 2019 supplies and expenses and its marketing. But $1,000 of the Event expenses shown are actually for the Slow Food event coming up in July and are not associated with the Expo. This is a planning ahead expense. We also reimbursed $663 to various members for traveling to Honolulu to lobby the legislature.
Our balance sheet looks quite good with sufficient funds available to pay our bills and look to funding future events. As usual, your Association has few bills to be paid – we pay promptly so accrue few unpaid amounts, except for the GET tax amount which is paid quarterly or semi-annually.
The bottom line for the month was a large Net Income of over $4,200 which drove our fiscal year to date to be profitable to the tune of almost $4,000 – so we’re making money instead of losing the almost $7,300 forecast in our budget.
Looking ahead, we will wrap up the Expo 2019 expenses and revenue and then continue to anticipate the Slow Foods Show in Denver in July.
Web Committee Report
Sent emails: Blend Bill (2), EXPO (2), Testimony Needed (2), April 2019-The Independent Voice, and KCFA Survey (2). Posted in Facebook too.
T-shirts done with Clare Wilson. Chose a new T-shirt design, worked with and then ordered 73 of varying sizes from West Hawaii Screen Printers. Will sell for 15$ or 16$ each. Ladies in "celadon', Small to Large and Men's in "silver" from Medium to XL are available for purchase.
New Website work continues with recent request for large farm photos.
Legislative Committee Report
HB144—51% Minimum and Origin Identification for Blends.
This bill was drafted by Rep. Richard Creagan at the request of KCFA and introduced by 15 House members. The bill was favorably passed by the House Agriculture Committee, House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, and the full House. In the Senate, however, HB144 was “gutted and replaced” by the Senate Agriculture & Environmental Committee with a 3-year “study/task force” stall. Sent next to a joint CPH/WAM hearing where the overwhelming majority of written testimony asked for the House’s 51% bill to be restored, the bill was killed when the committees voted to “defer”.
HB143—Disclosure of Percentages in Ready-To-Drink Coffee Products
This bill was also drafted by Rep. Richard Creagan at the request of KCFA and introduced by 17 House members. The bill addresses the fact that some RTD marketers are using Hawaii origin names (“Hawaiian Kona Premium Coffee” and “Kona Red Kona Blend”) without disclosing how much, if any, of the coffee in the package is from Hawaii-grown beans. However, questionable objections from the HDOA about difficulties of enforcement killed the bill. Although HB143 was favorably passed out of the House Agriculture Committee, the House CPC Committee did not schedule a hearing for the bill and the committee chair cited the HDOA “concerns” as the reason.
SB869—Mandatory Certification of Green Coffee
SB869 was introduced at the request of the Hawaii Coffee Association to bring back mandatory certification as a way to combat counterfeiting. The bill was amended by the Senate Agriculture & Environment Committee to address concerns arising from poor drafting of the original bill. The second Senate committee assigned to consider HB869 (Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health), however, refused to give it a hearing and killed it for this Session.
SB895—False Labeling of Geographic Origin
SB895 makes the false labeling with regard to the geographic origin of Hawaii-grown “roasted coffee” a class C felony. The bill was favorably passed through the Senate, and then the House Agriculture Committee, but the House CPC/JUD committees have not yet scheduled the second House committee hearing.
The 2019 Kona Coffee Expo, “All Things Kona Coffee” was a great success. This year there were over 400 attendees. This was the first time the expo was held on Saturday and it helped attendance. A special thank you to our event coordinator Aesha Shapiro and all the volunteers that help make the event a success. A big Mahalo to our vendors and attendees who contributed to a fun day.
Several fun family activities were added including a bouncy castle for keiki, a coffee bean counting contest, coffee tasting and hourly raffles. Instead of speakers that were hard to hear in the pavilion, we had small breakout sessions outside. These included; Talk to a farmer (Suzanne Shriner) coffee cupping basics (Pacific Coffee Research) business basics (Marty Kennedy) and little fire ants (The Ant Farm). This worked much better and allowed more individual participation and discussion. Chet Gardner’s band played from 11-2 and added energy with great music to the event. There were several new vendors this year.
KCFA had several tables including legislative (Bruce Corker) and merchandise (Jim Monk and Cea Smith), a contest table with approximately 180 people guessing the coffee bean amount and entering the raffle. The coffee tasting was 100% Kona, Folgers and 10% Kona. Thirty three percent of participants guessed all 3 correctly.
Karen Zulkowski promoted the expo on KTVQ’s Sunrise news show and Karen and Suzanne Shriner did radio ads and public service announcements. West Hawaii Today did a wonderful article on the expo the Sunday before the event. In addition, we did targeted Facebook advertising that reached over 6,000 people. The added radio and Facebook ads made possible with the grant money, helped increase attendance. Vendors were very pleased, and we have sent follow-up surveys to them about their experience, including what they liked and areas for improvement as well as to thank them and invite them to participate again.
Our sponsors included the County of Hawai’I, State of Hawai’I, Community Federal Credit Union, Department of Ag, and Ashe Industry. As a value added service, Ashe Industries in conjunction with Hala Tree Farms, provided a coffee roasting workshop on Friday March 29.
P/R and Slow Foods Committee Report
I am glad to report that three BOD members attended the Hawaii County Democratic Convention. Many of representatives that helped HB144, (51% Kona and Labeling) advance as far as it did were there. We made sure to thank them for their efforts and encouraged their continued support in reintroducing this bill again next session. It was a great opportunity for P/R discussion with people who were unaware of this Bill and some people who are willing to help us advance this in the future.
Round trip airfare to Denver for Slow Foods will average about $675.00 per person and need to be purchased soon before prices go up.
A refundable Airbnb reservation has been made that will accommodate up to 6 people. This will provide a place large enough for additional members to stay if they choose to help at this event. This was much more affordable than hotel accommodations. So far, Colehour, Karen and myself have committed to attending with the possibility of one other board member joining us.
The permits and forms required by the Health Department, Vendors and Sales are in the process of being completed and submitted to Slow Foods Denver.
Brochures, Business cards and handouts need to be printed for this event now to ensure they are completed in time to ship to Denver.
A call for green coffee donations needs to go out soon so that we can be assured of coffee to sell and for samples. The funds raided by coffee sales help defray the cost of attending this event.
Coffee Certification and Supply Chain possibilities
Chet and Suzanne attended a webinar on blockchain possibilities with the founders of Beefchain. Blockchain provides traceability in supply chains where buyers can track the coffee from origin to cup. Growers secure a tamper-proof certificate on the bag of green, and end-buyers can be assured that they are receiving real Kona. The second step is to develop an online marketplace based on blockchained-certified coffee. Suzanne and Beefchain will seek a grant from the County to explore a proof-of-concept demonstration.
Ad-Hoc report from Colehour:
While not an official Committee Report, the following is from my individual experience during the past week.
Attended the meeting of American Origin Products Association (AOPA) in Washington, DC on April 8, 2019.
Fellow attendees included representatives from Vermont Maple Syrup, Idaho Potatoes, New Mexico Chiles, Wisconsin Ginseng, and Napa Wine.
We were joined by oriGIn via telephone, and in-person involvement via Bernie Sanders and his representative on the Senate Budget Committee, as well as Beyond Pesticides, Karr Tuttle Campbell law firm, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association and an AOPA former Executive Director.
While a relatively small group overall, we were able to raise and address important issues that guide the goals to, create a stronger economy for distinctive product names closely tied to their region of origin, and to seek recognition and protection in the US and abroad…
We discussed the issues of generic (commodity) losses to large entities/product processors, interests for an AOPA certification or registry mark, American distinctive product recognition lobbying effort needs, funding strategies including re-activating the 501(c)(3) AOPA partner.
Rural sustainability as a concept was encouraged, and we discussed the value at all levels of producing video pieces about products as examples to build upon and for internet-accessible review by interested parties, which the organization agreed to prioritize in the coming year.
It was further raised, and is being considered, to have non-producer group representatives serve in some capacity on the Board in order to ensure a balanced set of actions, which notably work for policy-maker and consumer-group perspectives.
Specific state-level ideas were raised as well, such as CODEX protections, seeking product-specific auto license plates, localized grants, such as Value Added Producer Grants through the USDA, and others. Fund-raising options were discussed and analyzed as well…
Very useful meeting and Kona coffee was able to hold a healthy place at an important in-person discussion that we can continue to build upon. Showed were both the recognition around the world of how AOPA can truly speak for important components of agriculture, and also how to work together across distinctive products to have stronger voices.
Active Voting Members 202 – Up 6 5
Associate Members 25 – NC
Supporting Business Members 15 – down 4
Total Membership: 242 – Up 2
Lisa Brochu with Tim Merriman ($45)
Malanie Korn, Braden Smith, Mary Katherine Trevithick, Howard Hill, Tim Merriman
Mary Lou Moss, Jolani Shrinski
Captain Cook Trading Co. – Emmerich Grosch
Stacy Aurway – Makua Coffee Company
Reported as Expired:
Chad & Jen Burt, Lawton Allenby, Jackie Ngo, Pierre-Paul Brassard, Allen Frank, Thomas Dempsey, Stuart Wolpoff, K