KCFA BOD Meeting
May 20, 2014
CTAHR Office, Kainaliu
Call to Order at 3:05 PM
A. KelleherT. Butler, K. Schweickhard, C. Bondera, K. Goschke, C. Coleman and
ML Moss and member David Case.
100% Kona coffee provided by A.Kelleher. Thank you Anita.
June coffee to be provided by B.Corker
A motion was made by ML Moss and seconded by K.
Schweickhard to accept the April, 2014 minutes. Motion passed.
A motion was made by C. Bondera and seconded by ML Moss to accept
the Treasurer’s Report. Motion passed.
1.A. Kelleher suggested that there be a focus group formed to study
Branding and Marketing. The focus group will see if we could work
on a matching grant for funds for Branding from USDA? The group will be made of A.Kelleher, C. Coleman, K. Goschke, B. Corker and C. Smith.
2. A suggestion was made by A. Kelleher that there be a KCFA priorities review.
After much discussion it was decided to wait until after the budget was
formed in June.
3.Small Business Regulatory Rules Board – C. Bondera
Colehour and Joachim Oster will attend the SBRRB review meeting in Honolulu as requested by the SBRRB to attend to any discussion regarding coffee labeling and
4.CBB Task Force – K. Schweickhard
Kurt has requested the Task Force to establish and publish financial records for Task Force members.
5. CBB Grant – C. Bondera
Colehour explained the proceedings of the grant proposal, handed out a draft of the KCFS/BB Grant Voucher Application for farmers and stated he hopes for a June
15 start up.
$3 Million Proposal for CBB Mitigation—HB1514:
This bill was introduced by Kona Representative Nicole Lowen. As originally drafted, the bill provided for a $3 million appropriation to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) for control and mitigation of coffee berry borer (CBB). The KCFA has supported the
bill—with a strong recommendation that the appropriation be used to subsidize farmer costs for purchasing Beauvaria bassiana, and that the HDOA directly administer the subsidy program—rather than have the HDOA sub-contract out the program to private
organizations. Unfortunately, as the bill progressed through the Legislature, the
Honolulu Blenders and their allies testified in favor of major reductions in the proposed $3 million appropriation—see, for example, the written testimony of Jim Wayman (Hawaii
Coffee Association/Hawaii Coffee Company) and David Bateman (Kona Coffee
On April 29, HB1514 was passed by the House and Senate—BUT with an appropriation of only $500,000. This amounts to a reduction of more the 80% from the appropriation in the original bill. The Legislature has, disappointingly, failed to recognize the serious threat to the continued economic viability of Hawaii-grown coffee posed by the CBB Emergency. There will be some money for Beauvaria bassiana subsidies in the coming fiscal year,
but substantial uncertainty as to future funding.
Roast Coffee Grades/Criminal Penalties— SB2913:
As first introduced, this bill (strongly supported by the Honolulu Blenders and their allies) would have extended as yet unwritten and undisclosed rules for grading of Hawaii-grown roasted coffee—with Class C Felony sanctions for any improper labeling.
Testimony from the KCFA, KCFA members and from the Hawaii Farmers Union emphasized that the bill would impose burdensome and unnecessary
requirements (and potential criminal penalties) on Kona famers who roast their own coffee in Kona. KCFA also pointed out that, ironically, the bill totally failed to address deceptive and false labeling of foreign-grown coffee in packages using the names “Hawaii”, “Hawaiian”, “Kona” or other Hawaii place names. After the bill was passed
by the Senate, the House of Representatives passed a radically amended bill—requiring that the two versions of the bill be considered by a House/Senate Conference Committee. When that committee failed to reach agreement on a final version, HB2913 died in the committee on April 25.
Again, the Legislative Committee thanks all KCFA members who submitted
testimony on coffee-related bills during the 2014 Legislative session.
Schweickhard and Smith are working on updating the Restaurant Recognition. We’d
like everyone to participate-so please send in the restaurants that you know of that serve 100% Kona asap. General emails will be sent again. If you sell to other island Restaurants or other state/country Restaurants, those could also be added to the list
Member Total (as of 5/17/2014) 339
I would like to read letter from Mr. John L. Ah San from Palehua Farmers Co-op from Ka'u to members at meeting.
I sent two Press Releases . Trader Joe's and Colehour's Grant. Another
one will go out today about Hawaiian Host. I sent the newsletter as always to all. The other little thing was I sent a hand written Thank you to Representative Nicole Lowe
-Education/Coffee Talk– C.Bondera and S.Shriner
Attended meetings discussing the Education aspect of the CBB
-Finance- K. Schweickhard
Balance Sheet as of April 30, 2014 and Profit and Loss for April. Reminder
to think now for Budgets- Early June preliminary Meeting proposed for Budget
-Social Events – M.Moss and C. Coleman
The June 8th Social Event at Paleaku Peace Garden has been postponed.
I would like to suggest that we plan some kind of BBQ – kind of a “get acquainted” pot luck for new members some time this summer. Maybe we could piggy-back it with an educational workshop??
The next event KCFA will participate in is the Cultural Festival. The dates for the Cultural Festival are Nov. 8 – 16. The kick-off event will again be the Coffee & Art Stroll in Holualoa on Nov.8th. I will be in charge of that again this year – but my last.
I would like to suggest we start our planning for EXPO 2015. We need to decide
on a theme and date. ML
HFUU REPORT APRIL/MAY 2014
I. 2014 LEGISLATION
The 2014 Legislature wound up its work in April and May, and we saw the results of HFUU’s earlier advocacy on behalf of KCFA. In the end it came down to two significant bills: 1) HB1514 (HDOA CBB Subsidies) and 2) SB2913 (Coffee Counterfeiting).
B. HB1514 (HODA CBB Subsidies)
This was a bill that Rep. Lowen introduced following an HFUU conversation with the Governor about the need for more funding to fight CBB. Rep. Lowen took the initiative immediately following that conversation to ask how much money it would take. We suggested $3 million as 100% subsidy that would cover all the coffee farmers in Hawaii County.
Beyond that and more importantly, following KCFA’s recommendation, we urged that the funding and the operation of the subsidy program be housed with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (“HDOA”). We testified repeatedly before the cognizant House and Senate Committees that:
What is needed now is an effective, government operated, education and mitigation program and the funds to cover necessary extension staff and administration of direct HDOA subsidies for all the affected farms until this pest can be brought under control.
Working with Rep. Lowen and HDOA we helped develop the final language in the Bill that spelled out the requirements for the subsidies and avoided the delay it would have taken to adopt regulations to implement the program. There was always the question of how much funding would be allocated to the program, and the final appropriation was for $500,000 for 2014-2015 with the program to be continued through 2019. Future funding (and the amounts of it) will now be part of the HDOA
annual budget and not so vulnerable to political competition over funding between Oahu and the outer islands.
C. HB2913 (Coffee Counterfeiting)
We initially testified in qualified support of this Bill, pointing out that as written it was likely not to be enforceable. We opposed after we more fully understood the reasons for KCFA’s opposition. After the Bill crossed over to the House HFUU testified on KCFA’s behalf before the House Agriculture Committee, in a colloquy with a one of the Bill’s supporters before the Committee we were able to draw the distinction between the effect of the Bill on large processers and its negative effect on small-scale Kona coffee farmers. Our testimony and later discussions with the House Ag Committee staff resulted in the following language in Standing Committee
Report No. 1112-14:
Your Committee respectfully requests that your Committees on Consumer Protection and Commerce and Judiciary give special attention to the question of whether the same record requirements should apply to all coffee roasted in Hawaii to prevent coffee counterfeiting or whether exemptions may be allowed for small, farm to table coffee farms. Your Committee recognizes that those supporting this measure generally represent larger farms and coffee processors that also process and roast coffee from other farms. Those opposing this bill generally represent small-scale farms in the Kona District of
Hawaii County who harvest, process, roast, and sell coffee direct from farm to table. Representatives from these small-scale farms advised your Committee that the measure would impose burdensome
new regulation on small-scale, farm to table businesses for which there is no history of coffee counterfeiting.
We along with KCFA then testified in opposition to the Bill before the joint Consumer Protection and Judiciary Committees. Rep.Richard Creagan serves on both Committees, and was instrumental in
discussions that eventually resulted in the Bill dying in Conference
D. SB 111 (HDOA Regulation of Labeling)
This was a “gut and replace” short bill that came up on the middle of the legislative session out of what we believe is frustration with efforts to embroil the Legislature in labeling of 10% blends of other products such as cacao and tea. It is also fair to say that the implication of this legislation is that the Legislature is pretty fed up with the recurring disputes over coffee labeling. We were again instrumental in the House Ag Committee’s decision to kill the Bill.
C. Post-Legislative Debriefing Following the Legislature’s adjournment the HFUU President, Vincent Mina, Vice-President, Simon Russell, and I spent two days in Honolulu on May 5 and 6 to do some post session debriefing with several key legislators. We met with outgoing House Ag Chair and new Hawaii Director of Environmental Quality, Jessica Wooley, as well as Senate Ag Chair, Clarence Nishihara, House Ag member Tom Brower, and House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke. District 5 Representative, Richard Creagan, accompanied us to all of these meetings and has otherwise been of invaluable assistance during his short time in the Legislature.
HFUU has effectively supported KCFA’s legislative agenda. More than one legislator has told us that we are making a difference and that the voice of the small-scale farmer is being heard. The farmers of
North and South Kona also have real champions in Reps. Lowen and Creagan. It is safe to say that without Rep. Lowen’s leadership we would not now have a CBB subsidy program operated by the Department of Agriculture. Rep. Creagan has also hit the ground running as an effective advocate for Kona coffee farmers and agriculture in general. We also have found HDOA Chair, Scott Enright, to be open, fair and accessible in all of his dealings with us. HFUU also is making steady progress in its organizational development. Respectfully submitted, David Case, HFUU/KCFA Liaison
-CBB Task Force Report- K. Schweickhard
5 min. verbal.
1.My action at the last meeting, financial motion and results
2. CBB TF CBB mitigation plan so far.
Clare Wilson thanked us for all the participation in the May Newsletter. She will
be asking again for June’s during the last week of May, so please think now.
Adjourned at 4:55 PM
Minutes recorded by Sec. T. Butler