Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Monthly Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
March 21, 2007, CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
Board of Directors Meeting Called to Order by President – 4:05pm
All members and guests welcomed.
Board Members Present
Ken Sheppard - President, John McClure - Vice President, Suzanne Kustusch - Secretary, Joanie Rowe - Treasurer, Bruce Corker, Colehour Bondera, Nancy Griffith, and Mary Lou Moss.
Sandra Scarr - apologies for absence from meeting (home sick).
Member Dinner as Social Event and to support local restaurant that serves 100% Kona coffee.
WHEN: Wednesday evening - Apr. 4, 7-9:30 pm
WHERE: Evie’s Natural Foods, 79-7460 Mamalahoa Hwy. - Kealakekua (Mango Court)
PRICE: $28.00 per person, food and tip included, bring beverage of choice.
Evie’s will be opening especially for us as they are not currently offering
dinner to the public and can only seat 12 people. RSVP by Tuesday, March 27.
Since Lisa will be paying in advance, should you be unable to attend after reserving, please find someone to attend in your place.
Review Minutes of February 21, 2007 Board of Directors Meeting
Joanie Rowe moved to approve Minutes as written. Suzanne Kustusch seconded.
8 ayes, 0 nays, motion carried, Minutes approved
Treasurer reported a Net Income for the period of February 15th to March 20th of $928.09.
Bruce Corker moved to accept Treasurer’s Report as written, Colehour Bondera seconded, 8 ayes, 0 nays, motion carried, Treasurer’s Report accepted.
Education Committee Report: Chairpersons Ken Sheppard/Colehour Bondera pro tem
Sometime in May is the tentative date for a Selection Seminar by Bob Smith at Kona Mountain Coffee Company. Actual date will be posted when known. Merritt Walsh will explain about the Little Fire Ant at the Seminar. John McClure volunteered to take over the Education Committee Chair position. Thank you John! Mary Lou and Chuck Moss, Ken Sheppard and Colehour Bondera will be on the Committee.
Estate Committee Report: Chairperson Joanie Rowe
We have one new estate, Buddha’s Cup, Christine Coleman. Certificate is on the way. Joanie is working on two other Estates. Joanie will call each Estate each year and visit every two years.
Fund Raising Committee Report: Chairperson Mary Lou Moss
KCFA made $372.00 at Pua Plantasia and $166.00 at Brew Fest for a total of $538.00. There are two more events in March. The Chocolate Fest. is the 24th, 6-10pm, and Aloha Hawaiian Nights at the Pier is March 31st, 5-10pm. Mary Lou has four volunteers for the Chocolate Fest and Mark Shultise volunteered use of his tent. Mark Shultise, Ginnie Comerford and Joanie Rowe volunteered to help at Hawaiian Nights. The booth space is free at Hawaiian Nights so a donation between $50.00 and $125.00 will be given to the Event. Mary Lou is working on having a Banquet during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Nov. 2-11, which would include a silent and live auction. Members are asked to make items for the auction. There will be a big event at Lanihau center in July or August. KCFA will be selling jams, jellies, aprons, logo merchandise and KCFA coffee.
Grants Committee Report: Chairperson Sandra Scarr read by President
Department of Agriculture
Required paperwork was received, completed, and returned to establish the KCFA grant account to fund the development of a new DVD. Christine Sheppard has drafted a script, which is receiving comments and suggestions from several members of the Board. The DVD committee will review and approve the work to be done. We can proceed as planned with the project.
Sandra Scarr drafted a letter to the Manager of the Alcan Foundation requesting an exception to their requirement that organizations be incorporated for five years prior to an application. The letter was sent over President Ken Sheppard's signature. Based on the Board's long experience with farmers' issues at the Kona Coffee Council, the Alcan Prize committee decided to accept an application from KCFA. Deadline is April 12.
Legislative Committee Report: Chairperson Bruce Corker
1) GMO COFFEE BILL--On February 28 as KCFA's representative, Melanie Bondera traveled to Honolulu for the House Consumer Protection Committee's deliberations on HB1577--the GMO coffee bill which places a 5 year moratorium on field planting of GMO coffee in Hawaii. Despite heavy
opposition from UH and the biotech industry, the bill was passed out of the committee and passed by the full House of Representatives. The bill is currently before Sen. Kokubun's Water Land and Agriculture Committee in the Senate; no hearing date has yet been announced.
2) KONA COFFEE BLENDS--As KCFA representatives on March 9, Christine Sheppard and Suzanne Kustusch traveled to Honolulu to appear on Howard Dicus' PBS business news television show, "PBN Friday". Their presentation of the reasons for changing the current law was terrific--including a demonstration of a 10% Napa Chardonnay Blend, blended with 90% Boone's Farm.
3) COMMITTEE PLANNING MEETING--In early April the Legislative Committee will meet to review a list of proposed action items in preparation for next year's KCFA legislative program.
Bruce Corker moved:
That KCFA oppose HR86 and HCR109 because a further study of changing the minimum percentage of Kona coffee to call a package of coffee a "Kona blend" is unnecessary, a waste of State resources, and a stall tactic of the blenders;
That KCFA oppose HCR110 (requesting the HDOA to institute mandatory inspection and certification of all Hawaii coffees) as a solution in search of a problem; as an unnecessary burden on small coffee farmers; and as a costly bureaucratic burden for HDOA; and
That, with suggested modifications, KCFA support HCR111 (Requesting HDOA to study labeling requirements relating to the use of Hawaii-grown coffee names). Suggested modifications to include:
**a comparative analysis of geographic identity protections given by other regions to their specialty agricultural crops (for example, Washington State apples, Florida oranges, Vidalia onions, Idaho potatoes) with the protections provided by Hawaii for its coffees.
**a report on the actions (and effectiveness of those actions) by the HDOA in protecting and enforcing its federal trade marks for 100% Kona Coffee and for other Hawaii coffees.
**3) A review and analysis the following question: Whether (and to what extent) the addition of approximately 5 million pounds annually of “10% Kona blend” into the Hawaii market of what many consumers view as “Kona coffee” has artificially depressed prices paid to Kona coffee growers by affecting the balance of economic supply and demand?
The Board was advised that the Legislative Committee would send representatives to Honolulu for testimony on these motions before the House
Membership Committee Report: Chairperson Joanie Rowe
KCFA has 119 active members to date. 21 past members have not renewed for this year. It was suggested that this letter be sent to them.
Dear Kona Coffee Farmer’s Member,
I would like to thank you for your past membership in the association. I would also like to remind you that your membership has expired and can be renewed online or you can mail a check to Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association PO BOX 917 Honaunau Hawaii 96726-0917. If you have any questions regarding your membership or if you have already renewed please contact me at [email protected] or call me at 808-328-0825. If you are choosing not to renew can you take a few minutes to give us some feedback as to why you are not renewing. This may help the organization make changes and improve for the future. Please send comments to [email protected]
I hope I can count on your continued support,
Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association
Bruce Corker put together Reasons to Join the KCFA 1-5
1) The KCFA is the organization that speaks out in support of the interests of Kona Coffee Farmers--not in the interests of processors, roasters, blenders or retailers--JUST FARMERS
2) KCFA members receive the “Independent Voice”--the best agriculture newsletter in Hawaii--with information on Kona coffee FARMER issues and events
3) KCFA members are provided an excellent Educational Program directed to the needs of FARMERS--including pruning, vertical selection, and small scale processing seminars, and more
4) KCFA provides information for FARMERS on cherry, parchment, and green coffee prices offered by Kona buyers (NOTE: When was this information last made available? Has it included parchment and green prices? If the information is not current, should this item be included?)
5) KCFA is vigorously pursuing a legislative program supporting the following FARMER issues--ending deceptive “10% Kona blends”; keeping GMO coffee cultivation out of Hawaii; seeking protection from disease and pest risks from foreign green coffee imports into Hawaii.
We have two proposals:
March/April Membership Campaign:
a) Offer a reduced membership of $10 for the balance of 2007 to new members (not late renewals) as an added inducement for joining KCFA. Joanie Rowe moved to accept. Not seconded or accepted at this point in time.
b) Publicity and Posters: A request for authorization for newspaper ads (up to $400) and for posters (up to $50) asking coffee farmers to join the KCFA and to come to the April 21st Earth Day picnic meeting. Nancy Griffith moved to accept, Suzanne Kustusch seconded. 8 ayes, 0 nays. Motion accepted.
c) Membership Committee members will call all KCFA members and request that they contact at least one non-KCFA member neighbor with an invitation to join KCFA and an invitation to come to the April picnic meeting. Members will be asked to provide the committee with the individual and farm names of those contacted so we can more efficiently organize future membership drives. It will be helpful in the future to know that those contacted said “I’m thinking about joining”, or “I definitely will not join”, or said they would join but didn’t, etc.
d) Follow up calls to members who have agreed to make invitations within a week.
e) In late April, the Membership Committee will send out an email to the Online Petition signers who gave email information. The email will give a report on what happened with HB72 and SB661 in the 07 legislative session; preparations for the 08 legislative session; and a suggestion that non-farmers who are proponents of ending “10% Kona blends” should consider becoming Associate Members of the KCFA--to be kept up to date on this and other coffee issues and information during the year.
Promotions Committee Report: Chairperson Cea Smith
Cea presented bumper sticker options, newspaper ad options and burlap bag options. A bumper sticker was chosen and the burlap bag idea was approved. Cea will work on the newspaper ad and will submit a budget for all three projects. Mary Lou Moss moved to accept the bumper sticker and bags. Bruce Corker seconded. 8 ayes, 0 nays. Motion carried.
PR Committee Report: Chairperson Christine Sheppard
This month we have put out the March newsletter, and a media alert on the BrewFest, Pua Plantasia, and the Chocolate Festival participation. We presented a Certificate of Excellence (nice work by Joanie’s daughter) to the Kona Brewing Company for their coffee beers. Suzanne Kustusch and Christine Sheppard traveled to Honolulu to appear on PBN Friday with Howard Dicus. The KCFA newsletter was picked up by several coffee blogs. Christine has started writing a DVD script (dependent upon budget approval).She has been asked to ghost-write articles for placement nationwide and will work on them as time permits. Anyone else who would like to participate is encouraged to contact Christine..
Resources & Best Practices Report: Chairperson Nancy Griffith
Nothing to report. Chairperson was asked if she knew the current parchment prices. She did not know at this time. Chairperson asked that the list of member farms be more easily found on the website. Mark Shultise said he would submit the suggestion to make it happen.
Website Committee Report: Mark Shultise
Mark reports that the KCFA website now has the capability of identifying Certified Organic farms and the Membership Committee is doing so. We have further defined the membership year criteria and the Membership Committee has updated membership years. The website continues to run with no problems.
2007 Budgets – Budget meeting date set for all Committee Chairs
Wednesday, April 11th, 3pm at the Sheppard’s.
New perspective on the 75% issue – John McClure
John questioned if anyone was interested in undertaking a venture of competing with the blenders in the marketplace by creating a blend of Hawaiian coffees for the same price as the 10% Blends. President said that KCFA cannot do it because of our non-profit standing. John said he would look into it on his own. Nancy Griffith and Page Trygstad said they would help him.
Meeting Adjourned at 5:53pm
Next Board of Directors Meeting:
April 18, 2007 at CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu, at 4:00pm.
Suzanne Kustusch, KCFA Secretary 2007
Video showing after the Meeting of the two episodes of PBN Friday showcasing the coffee blend labeling issue.