KCFA Board Minutes December 17, 2008
Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Board of Directors Meeting
December 17, 2008, CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
Meeting Called to Order – 4:10 pm
Board Members Present: Bruce Corker, Colehour Bondera, Nancy Griffith, Kathy Wood, Mary Lou Moss, John McClure, Sandra Scarr.
Absent: Joanie Rowe, Deb Sims, Suzanne Kustusch, and Sandy Masterson
Coffee Provided for Board of Directors Meeting
Coffee compliments of Bruce Corker, Rancho Aloha
Introduce New Members and Guests: Jeff and Carol Seel of Jasmine Farm.
Minutes of Board Meetings of September 17 and November 19, 2008
Minutes of both meetings were approved. Still to be approved are minutes of July and August 2008 meetings.
Treasurer Deb Sims submitted a written report, read by President Bruce Corker. She reported a bank account of $18,440 and approximately $6,000 in inventory. There are some outstanding bills: The Grainpro bags that have been ordered and paid for by members have not yet arrived, and not all of the KCFA calendars have been paid for. KCFA had a very good November, thanks to Mary Lou, Kathy Wood, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, with total receipts of more than $14,000.
PR/Promotions Committee Report: Chairperson Cea Smith reported she sent more than 1,000 e-mails inviting people to look at the new KCFA web site and to review the December Newsletter. She spent a lot of time “tweaking” the web site, supplying passwords to members. The web site got 10,000 hits in November. Cea reported that Joanie had pursued some questionable sales on EBay of “Kona” and “Jamaica Blue Mountain” coffees at prices too low to be authentic. She wrote to the vendor, a gift basket seller. Even after getting to the right person, there has been no reply to her query.
Social Committee Report: Co-Chairperson Kathy Wood noted that everyone on the Chocolate Factory tour had a great time. She suggested a visit to the Queen Bee Co. would be interesting. Jeff and Carol Seel will contact them to see if a tour can be arranged.
Grants Committee Report: Chairperson Sandra Scarr reviewed the letter Senator Josh Green wrote to HDOA Director Sandra Kunimoto regarding settlement of issues around the KCFA DVD. Kunimoto’s reply reasserted her view that HDOA owns the DVD content and that nothing more needs to be done at this time. Based on conversations with Bruce Corker, Sandra contacted legal counsel to seek advice about KCFA’s options. Members and Directors present offered other possible legal counsel and were encouraged to contact them to see if they are interested in pursuing this matter.
Fund Raising Committee Report: Co-Chairpersons Mary Lou Moss and Kathy Wood. Mary Lou reported they sold calendars and coffee at the Ali’i Drive site and made $490. Calendar Girls were at the Joanne Williams show and made more than $1,000 selling calendars, jewelry, bags, and other KCFA merchandise. They will be going to a wine-tasting event at Island Naturals on December 18, 19, and on December 23 they will be at a beer-tasting event.
The Annual Meeting will be on January 30, preceded by the EXPO. Jamie Newland of Big Jakes Barbeque will sell food at the Expo/Trade Show with ribs and Caesar salad.
Election Committee. Bruce Corker announced the Election Committee members are Mary Lou Moss, Joanie Rowe, and Kathy Wood. Members are urged to nominate Board candidates and to volunteer themselves to run for the Board before December 31.
Legislative Committee Report: Bruce Corker reported that he and Chuck Moss met with newly elected District 6 State House Representative Denny Coffman, who is interested in sponsoring legislation to protect Hawaii agricultural crops, including Kona coffee. He vows to serve 100% Kona coffee in his office here and in Honolulu. He asks that KCFA help him find coffee at wholesale prices, and he will display the farm’s literature. So far 18 KCFA farms have volunteered to supply coffee.
Bruce reported he has received informal information regarding HCA and KCC and Jim Wayman’s interest in pushing hard for mandatory certification of roasted coffee. Mandatory certification of roasted coffee would be very difficult for small farmers who sell their coffee on the Internet. KCFA will watch this move very closely.
Brenda Ford is holding a meeting on January 7 on a resolution to have Hawaii County conduct an experiment with vote-by-mail in the next election. The League of Women Voters supports this change from precinct polls and voting on one election day to increase voter participation. Brenda Ford is also holding a community meeting in Holualoa on local issues on December 30 at the Imin Center at 6 PM.
Chamber of Commerce Report: Chairperson Nancy Griffith suggests KCFA ask the KKCC for support of truth-in-labeling legislation for Kona coffee. Board agreed.
Coffee Cherry and Parchment Prices Chairperson Nancy Griffith reported that no one supplied parchment prices, and many refused to give her prices at which they are buying coffee cherry.
She reported that Bong Brothers will buy cherry at $1.20 in lots of at least 4,000 pounds, to be received over no more than three days. She reported that Koa Plantation shut its gates for a 3 to 4 week period and have not paid for cherry they received prior to closing. Hearsay is that Koa had a large inventory of parchments (perhaps, 300,000 pounds) from last year’s crop.
Sellers report that Mountain Thunder is paying $1.10 in 60 days and are behind in their payments. Captain Cook is paying $1.10 in 15 days and are behind in payments. Greenwell is paying $1.20 to old suppliers but $0.95 to ex-Koa Plantation farmers.
Nancy reported that she is forming a coffee marketing coop, which succeeded in selling 1,200 pounds of green from 7 farms at a price that translates to $1.85/pound for cherry and $9.95 for parchment.
She will continue to pursue cherry prices and welcomes any information from sellers.
Membership and Estates Report: Chairperson Joanie Rowe was unable to attend the meeting. Her report stated that we have 260 members, representing 209 farms. The Annual Meeting and Expo will be great for recruiting new members.
We need to advertise these events, call a friend, and organize a get-out-the-membership campaign.
We are out of bumper stickers, and Joanie proposed ordering a new printing. Board approved an expenditure of up to $500 to print new bumper stickers before the EXPO and Annual Meeting.
Twig Borer: Bruce contacted Elsie Burbano on the UH-CTAHR activity to combat this pest. Burbano reported that the twig borer has no natural enemies in Kona. It attacks up to 20% of branches on Kona coffee trees. She says there will be workshops and information to farmers regarding trapping, repellants, and management of secondary vegetation to improve the situation.
Authentication of Kona Coffee: Sandra was asked to invite the authors of the UH report on a new method to authenticate Kona coffee to present their research at the EXPO. She will contact them.
COSTCO/Latitude 23.5 Coffee: Bruce reported on efforts to clarify with a Florida company (Latitude 23.5) whether they are selling a 2 % Kona blend without disclosing the %, and on efforts to have Costco clearly label their blend as “10% Kona Blend”, rather than “Kona Classic”. Bruce urges KCFA members to put protest cards in the COSTCO member feedback box, located across from the membership area on the way out of the store. Bruce is pursuing further information from these companies regarding what appears to be a deceptive use of the Kona name in marketing.
Directors and Officers Insurance: Deb Sims and Nancy Griffith explored options with Hawaii insurance consultants, suggested by the Chamber of Commerce. The consultants estimated the cost of $1 million coverage with Carolina Casualty Company is an annual premium of $900. Board discussed past experiences in other nonprofit organizations and felt this premium was consonant with past experiences. Board voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of $900 for D & O insurance.
Meeting Adjourned at 5:30 pm
Next Regular Board of Directors Meeting:
January 21, 2009 at CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu, at 4:00pm.
Sandra Scarr, Acting Secretary