Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Board of Directors meeting
MONDAY, , September 2017
CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
CALL TO ORDER— 3:00 pm
Suzanne Shriner, president
Allan Frank X
Chet Gardiner X
Bob Kraus X
Mike McMullen X
Jim Monk X
Cecelia Smith X
Greg Knowles X
Sandra Scarr X
Suzanne Shriner X
Karen Zulkowski X
Past president Bruce Corker
Guest Colehour Bondera X
Consent Agenda – (5 min)
Approval of July Minutes
Approval of Membership Applications
Acceptance of Committee Reports
Jim moved to accept July minutes and second Sanda. Motion passed
Membership application discussed. Motion to defer Mountain Thunder by Karen and second Sandra. Motion passed.
Motion to accept other applicants by Jim Monk Mike second. Motion passed.
Jim move to accept committee reports and second Mike. Motion accepted
Treasurer’s Report – Jim (5 min)
Motion to accept treasurers report by Karen and second Greg. Motion passed.
Origin Efforts (Colehour 5 min: Board Discussion 15 min)- Suzanne
Colehour is asking the KCFA board to approve $500.00 for travel to Italy to discuss origin.
Colehour feels farmers are not represented at all levels as they should be to promote Kona coffee. He is the American Origin Products Association- president.
Suzanne asks about AOPA viability based on website. He says it is a website issue. Idaho potatoes, Vermont maple syrup are members, Jim moves to support Colehour Chet second.
Discussion-Sandra feels we need to start at US level. Karen agrees. Cea clarified that we have tried to do world recognition for 7 years and has not been effective. Federal people feel that the state needs to do something first.
Colehour feels this is long term work to be effective.
Greg asked how this benefits the local farmer. Colehour says it is the value of the product at the international level. Chet says it’s a potential level to use here if there is international recognition.
Sandra thinks the US situation is hopeless. There is only Hawaii and Porta Ricothat grow coffee so is small amount compared to other countries. It is not enough money for US to be important to the overall coffee industry.
Bob asks how Kona coffee benefits from an international meeting. Colehour feels KCFA members benefit from recognition of Kona coffee internationally.
Allan doesn’t see how this benefits Kona coffee. Also since we are a small player have we discussed this with Kona coffee distributers. Suzanne has talked to several big distributers and they say they support Kona coffee origin labeling at the state level. Allan feels that is the way to go. He suggests speaking to the Hawaii attorney general. Colehour says we need to look at all options.
Motion-Jim makes motion to give Colehour $500 travel money from the internal relations committee and second Mike. Motion not passed.
Sandra makes motion Karen second to ask Colehour to represent KCFA as a goodwill gesture. Motion passed.
Green Coffee Standards and KCFA position (20 min) – Mike and Science Committee
Discussion: Size sort and defect separately. So is defect and then size and cup to taste. Cannot be beyond strict standards. SCAA sorts by size and then standard levels.
Committee wants to eliminate size as standard because size has no evidence saying it affects quality. Going to SCAA defect standards but keeping Kona legacy names extra fancy, fancy, select, and prime based on defects. Then there is off grade which is not Kona coffee named. Goes from 7 to 5 grades. This will be starting point for state discussion. Bruce Corker has previously sent emails saying that there should be more and better evidence on defects affecting taste. Size will not be on standard only defects. Color sorting will be used in future.
Cea moves and Mike seconds to accept this new standard. Motion passed.
Estate grade should be strengthened but how done is complex issue. State would have to certify that all estate coffee was grown on specific land. State does not certify as they say they cannot say for sure that the coffee was grown on that land.
Enforcement tabled for next meeting.
Karen explained that we need another event planner as Nancy is gone next year. Also need to finalize date. We need to put out proposal for new event manager. Budget is $1500 for coordinator.
Motion Sandra and second Cea to ask Marylou if she would do it and would she be willing to do it for $1500, and if that is not acceptable how much she would need to do it, and if not put it out for others.
Expo grant will be sent to state for funding.
Hawaii labor talk
Several students want to talk to farmers about how they are paid and how you handle your crews. Survey is confidential. People that are interested in participating can talk to Suzanne.
Banquet – Sandra (10 minutes)
Slow Foods Denver – Karen/Kay (10 minutes)
Successful venture. Would highly recommend doing other venues on mainland such as Slow Foods. Reached people from all over US. Education was provided on coffee processing and bean quality. The Denver paper estimated up to 20,000 people attended the event.
Coffee for next meeting
Thank you to Karen for coffee this meeting. Next meet Jim.
The Science Committee completed position paper on recommendations for green coffee standards. This paper was submitted to full board on August 17.
Suzanne Shriner won the KS-sponsored trip to the Hawaii Ag Conference on Oahu in late August and will be attending. Report to follow next month.
Tech Committee Report
Wrote to each Classified ad lister and asked to be sure they wanted it to continue. Some said “no” and some “yes”. Updated eMail list and sent out: General Member email and posted on website: August 2017’s Independent Voice, an addendum to same and KSBE 30$K offer. Posted some on Facebook.
Restaurant Recognition Program
Submitted by Sandra
I spoke at length with Anita Kelliher about the Restaurant Recognition program she ran. She said she gave her materials to Kay Dixon, so perhaps Kay can add to what I know.
Anita said she stuck to the Kona District, because there are enough restaurants that serve 100% Kona to feature one per month in our newsletter and in ads in West Hawaii Today and Keola Magazine. She said we pretty much know who they are and listed:
Mi's Bistro (? follow up)
Bamboo Café (Hawi)
Board and other members can suggest others, if they know of more.
The point is to give them recognition in the community and among tourists looking for authentic Kona coffee in Kona. If we venture outside of the Kona District, there is Merriman's and perhaps others in Waimea and other parts of the County.
The Board would have to approve an advertising budget for this item. I don't know what the advertising rates for non-profits are in West Hawaii Today or Keola Magazine. There is also the possibility of rack cards, to be placed at strategic tourist locations along the West Hawaii coast, with rack cards warning about Kona blends.
A member with advertising or PR background could easily manage this program with a few hours a week.
Active Voting Members 214 - Up 2
Associate Members 31 - Unchanged
Supporting Business Members 20 - Up 1
Total Membership: 265
Chad Lindsey - Hoomana Plantations
John Trowbridge - Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation - Pending
Frank Fleecs - Sweet Spirit Farms - Honaunau
Charlene Gee - Bea's Knees Farm
Darcy Ames (2 years), Barry Shear, Karen Zulkowski, Darrell Lehmann, Randy Goolsby, David Kwiat, John Langenstein, Vikram Singh, Motter Snell
Reported as Expired:
Paul Hazen, Fred Housel, Barbara Housel, Richard Matsumoto
Slow Foods Denver
as submitted by Colehour
Slowly Protecting Pure Local Kona – Slow Food Nations, July, 2017
Submitted by Kay Dixon & Colehour Bondera
Slow Food Nations was a very appropriate and useful event for KCFA at many levels, and this is meant as a summary of the experience of attendees and a review of why it is such a great opportunity for KCFA to healthfully continue forth. Krista Roberts of Slow Food Denver has been willing from first contact to work with KCFA and to facilitate our participation, so that it was a success for both her leadership and for KCFA and KCFA members.
As stated before (see the July, 2016 Independent Voice) work has continued with origin protection of Kona coffee at the Hawaiian, national and international levels. Striving to maintain the public understanding of what the geographical identity of the primary coffee, now so long produced in the Kona District of Hawaii island, means that by starting with what has long been in place (the regional definition of a specific variety grown in a specific region), 100% Pure Kona coffee can continue to build upon what has happened more recently (in the last ten years) in terms of work with oriGIn and Slow Food in Italy where we participated and received the Parmigiano Reggiano award of recognition (in 2010). In these ways, KCFA members have Kona coffee recognized and protected at scales outside of what is achievable by each farmer.
Since the Branding Committee was able to work with local (Hawaii) Slow Food leadership, who coordinated with the US national office staff, Kona coffee received the designation of Ark of Taste by Slow Food USA (2016), which is an important recognition of a geographically identified agricultural crop/product (see listing at https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/pure-kona-coffee). Because of that designation, the first Kona coffee vendor (Kanalani Ohana Farm – Colehour Bondera) with Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org), based in Santa Cruz, CA, was contacted by Local Harvest to interview about how Ark of Taste affects Kona coffee.
All of this is directly related to the general pursuit at hand regarding KCFA involvement in Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO in July, 2017 (www.slowfoodnations.org). With the designation by both the “former” 2016 KCFA BOD, along with confirmation of same decision by the 2017 BOD, minimal-level participation of KCFA was authorized. Additional funds to allow for learning and involvement outside of the “Taste Marketplace” booth space (spending time interacting with and participating in workshop sessions that happened throughout the whole weekend on a regular basis in multiple locations at once, offering many informational/ networking opportunities), were not sought, while additional funds from Hawaii County were used to further support the participants in long-day maintenance of the booth space.
To that end, Kay Dixon, Karen Zulkowski and Colehour Bondera each spent over 20 hours over the weekend event to make it happen. Overall it was a great success, and some of the highlights that were observed and experienced follow. During the preparation day before the event, Colehour Bondera, as a Slow Food Hawaii Delegate, was able to participate in some of the Delegate-only discussions and presentations, and therefore was able to make some connections and have some experiences that were not open to the public. It is vital to recognize that the reason that such a Delegate status was obtained was because of and for KCFA. Slow Food at all levels (County, State, National, and International) actively seeks to involve and support KCFA and has told us directly, and through actions, that KCFA can and should take advantage and make the relationship between the organizations work, since we have overlapping missions.
Richard McCarthy, the Executive Director of Slow Food USA welcomed to the Delegate gathering in a way that was very inclusive. The opening keynote was done by Ricardo Salvador, Director and senior scientist of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and focused on the fact the United States does not truly have a coherent food policy. He mentioned the group, Health Environment Agriculture and Labor (HEAL) which is a Food Alliance that KCFA should consider in order to, “align our leadership”. This was inspiring and encouraging as a keynote address for the weekend. Membership can benefit from such serious scientific experience since these people already acknowledge Slow Food.
Since we all are consumers, and many of us participating in break-out sessions were also farmers (about 25-50% of Delegate attendees identified themselves as farmers as an informal observation), Colehour attended a session entitled, ‘Bridging Consumer Attitudes about Agriculture’ which was moderated by an EPA employee. It was identified that effective communication and both crop and behavioral diversification (not relying on a single option) are vital to attract and involve the range of consumers. Again, KCFA members can understand that consumer perception is what results in decisions to purchase Kona coffee however they buy it…
During lunch time it was honorable to be sought by James Thompson, who was introduced to Colehour by Alan Lewis. Mr. Thompson is the Agricultural spokesperson for Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet. Colehour and James were able to discuss how small-scale operators seek and need the support of governmental programs and how organizations such as Slow Food are vital for such efforts and at both state and national levels we must be sure that small-scale producers’ voices are listened to… Protecting farmers has to happen within the Sentate too!
During the lunch as well, it was a treat to hear from the Slow Food BOD member and significant activist, Alice Waters, who has had a long career in food system and food policy issues, from the perspective of a chef/restaurant owner in Berkeley where she for many decades has worked to help serve only locally produced ingredients on a menu that is as esteemed as anywhere in the world. During her speaking time, Ms. Waters even pointed out that Senator Bennet has publically mentioned “origin” products in regards to knowing where things come from that are included in public school lunches. She also mentioned the importance of this kind of factor in terms of those who seek to affect what is included in the Farm Bill that is under development.
For the Delegate Summit closing, Slow Food founder, Carlo Petrini made significant comments regarding hope for Slow Food Nations to become a standard and will continue regularly. Regarding Slow Food as a group, he stated that, ‘we must work with the other involved groups’. Further Mr. Petrini pointed out that Slow Food must be inclusive of any interest in organizational Mission, and finally that the purpose is to focus on ideas and not structure. Goal is to seek interested involvement to achieve action and participation of all those who are at all available.
Finally, during the post-Summit strategic planning session, Richard McCarthy points made by Mr. Petrini about efforts to attract support through efforts such as ‘gathering’, ‘campaigns’ and/or partnerships. This collaborative flexibility pointed why the group is active and involved with active volunteers across not only the USA but the world. Furthermore, the membership voted to have people who work outside of a Slow Food chapter to be added to the organizational Statute as “champions”. Finally, it was agreed upon by membership that any local-level “leaders” in Slow Food activities will no longer be required to be current members in order to work to support organizational efforts. Slow Food seeks ways to support memberships both formally and informally in order to be best recognized as a community organization.
Recognizing that it would be hard to know the amount of public participation in this free and open event, it was difficult decision process in terms of preparations of amounts of coffee for samples (therefore ground and ready), the amounts of equipment (such as coffee cups and sizes of percolators), serving option set-ups in a space not before known, etc. However, the minimal choices were made, and four KCFA members made donations of green coffee to be used as KCFA support in terms of preparing coffee (roasting and bagging) to bring to the event to sell in order to help cover costs. Overall this was lucky, since it was the first time for the event, and the numbers estimated and made use of were, in the end, almost exactly what could be achieved and only the amount of coffee prepared for brewing for samples (ground and ready) exceeded needs, and in the final hour of the Marketplace it was possible to sell those extra three ground pounds, along with all of the roasted coffee 4oz. bags (over 220) which had been brought for sale.
It was clear that the Colorado public had been advised of the event, and people from Denver proper and a wider swath of the region attended as general public, while people who would also do things such as purchase a bag of coffee with the only comment being, “thrilled to support an Ark of Taste product” with no additional inquiries or discussion possible due to the near constant demand that was experienced for samples and discussions regarding what Kona coffee is and is about and obstacles faced in terms of blending and ways to seek true product (for which many cards referring to the website link to, “Looking for Kona Coffee?” were shared and made clear for future marketing, though KCFA recognizes that there is not a role for individual brand promotion, because of which it is strongly suggested to have ongoing availability of KCFA coffee made from purchased member coffee, via the website and at promotional events!)
A number of random contacts made during the Marketplace, included with the owners of La Antonia private hostel in Cuba, owners of Anson Mills in South Carolina who produce heritage grains, a vascular surgery specialist from University of Colorado, and a couple who runs River Hills Harvest which processes and distributes elderberry products from numerous producers. These contacts were important, since they all happened while discussing Kona coffee and the efforts of KCFA and overlaps and similar issues being dealt with around the country with a range of crops and levels of involvement. Truly a number of Slow Food chapters from around the country (including many from Colorado itself) and also several other organizations such as the Farmers Union, had booth space (like Slow Food Hawaii had) where information was shared, samples were given of products, but no sales were sought. That component of the event was significant - as many as 25% of the booth spaces in the Marketplace were for information.
Please feel free to contact with any questions or comments, but at the end of the day it is strongly advised that KCFA seriously plan to continue to participate in this event (which Krista Roberts of Slow Food Denver made happen) and was a significant success and offers substantial communication and outreach efforts for KCFA membership in ways that costs of involvement are easily covered, and with better planning much more learning and collaboration could readily be achieved by those attending and staffing the booth space.