Kona Coffee Farmers Association
September 17, 2008, CTAHR, Kealakekua
President Bruce Corker called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM.
Present: Board Members Bruce Corker, Sandra Scarr, Mary Lou Moss, Joanie Rowe, Colehour Bondera, Deb Sims, Kathy Wood, and John McClure
Absent: Board Members Sandy Masterson, Suzanne Kustusch
Coffee provided by Sandra Scarr, Daily Fix Coffee. Next month: TBA
No new members or guests present.
Secretary's Report: Approval of Minutes were deferred to the next meeting.
Treasurer's Report: Deb Sims announced the revenues and expenditures from the time of the last regular Board meeting, and the current bank balance. Treasurer's report was approved.
Legislative Committee: Bruce described the current public hearings on the Hawaii agricultural Plan, being coordinated by the Kohala Center. Chuck Moss epresented KCFA , stressing honest labeling and branding. Joanie and Bruce attended another meeting and echoed the same themes. Bruce and Ken Sheppard both suggested that Hawaii County needs an Agriculture Department, separate from the state DOA. Joanie noted that 7 or 8 people present at the hearing were KCFA members. Bruce urged board members to attend future meeting to represent KCFA's positions.
Members can also go to the Kohala Center website to submit testimony.
Bruce thanked KCFA members who helped with the recent candidate forums, especially Sandra – planner/moderator, Mary Lou and Joanie, who provided coffee and cookies, and Joanie, timer. The Board also thanked Bruce for planning and making arrangements at Kealakehe.
County Council approved by an 8-0 vote a resolution banning GMO coffee and taro from being tested or planted in Hawaii County. Resolution requires two more readings to pass, and Bruce urged Board members to attend County Council sessions to support the ban.
Education Committee: Ken reported that Education is presenting a workshop on wet mill practices on Sunday, September 28 at Kona Lisa/Cornerstone Farm from 2-4 PM. Workshop will be announced by e-mail to members. Ron and Mary Lake, owners, are concerned about limited parking, so Ken will encourage carpooling or parking and walking from some distance. Ken Sheppard will communicate with members about the workshop. Sandra asked about a special workshop to invite the authors of the study on coffee authentication. She will contact the authors to try to arrange a date after the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.
Membership: Joanie reported the current membership is 245. She anticipates getting more members at the Kona Green Market.
Estates: Joanie announced there are now 30 Estates with one pending.
Publicity and Public Relations: The Green Market is celebrating the Equinox on Sunday, September 21. Kathy will reserve a booth. Board approved $50 for the booth. Mary Lou will bring the shack. KCFA will sell beverages and logo merchandise.
Calendars: Several new placements of the calendar were reported. PR Committee ordered 2.500 copies to be shipped to Joanie's daughter in Orange County, to save on shipping costs. She will use flat rate boxes to ship to Hawaii. Joanie says her daughter is willing to ship to mainland buyers, such as mainland Borders stores, again saving on shipping costs.
Bruce congratulated the Calendar Girls on the September 15 edition of Fortune, which contained a nice article on KCFA’s calendar, the Naked Truth, and outlined the case for truth-in-labeling of Kona coffee. Great promotion!
Board congratulated the Calendar Girls for priceless publicity for the Kona coffee cause..
Kona Views winter issue with KCCF cupping contest winners will also include article on the calendar. Hana Hou, the magazine of Hawaiian Airlines, will include an article on the calendar and recommend it as a “Best Buy” for the holidays.
Daniel Sayre Foundation thanked KCFA for the donation of a calendar and coffee for their auction.
Website: Bruce noted that the website will be up in early October. Mary Lou will enter the website in the KCCF website contest.
Grants: No report.
Chamber of Commerce/Price Information: Nancy is off island. Bruce noted the lack of information provided by processors. It appears that no major processors is cooperating now. We need to contact farmers who sell cherry to get prices. Deb and Nancy attended the last C of C mixer and found it a valuable place to make contacts and to spread the Kona coffee message. Deb is attending this week's meeting.
Fund Raising: Calendar girls will be at the Starbucks, in Kona Coast shopping center, on Ironman weekend to sell calendars.
KCFA annual Banquet/auction will be on November 16 at King Kamehameha Hotel, as last year. Mary Lou asked for help in getting members to attend and in soliciting for auction items.
Social Committee: Lisa is off island.
OriGin welcomed KCFA as a full member for a donation of $200.
Jack-in-the-Box restaurants are advertising a “Kona coffee shake”. Bruce communicated with the Guest Relations staff to inquire about the actual amount of Kona coffee in the coffee shakes. He received several different accounts of the Kona coffee in the shakes and finally a refusal to disclose their formulation for “proprietary reasons”.
Bruce wrote a letter asking what percentage of Kona coffee is in the flavoring and has received no reply to date.
Bio-Control of Strawberry Guava. Bruce reported the Board approved support of Brenda Ford's resolution to stop the release of the scale until its spread has been tested on important agricultural crops.
Twig Borer insect is becoming more of a threat to Kona coffee. At the august meeting, Duane Herren reported that 100% of his trees are affected, and a KCFA Twig Borer Committee was formed (Duane, Deb Sims, and Bruce Corker).
The Committee sent and e-mail to KCFA members, urging those who are concerned to write to HDOA and CTAHR asking for support of research and practices to reduce the impact of twig borer. Virgina Easton-Smith commented that the claims of severity are too extreme. Board discussed the points suggested in the Committee’s e-mail to members.
Virginia said the most effective control so far is healthy trees and good agricultural practices. John McClure commented on the very time-consuming practice of cutting out affected branches and disposing of them. Joanie related her similar experience. Virginia stated that the severity of twig borer problems seems to migrate unpredictably from North to South Kona and from farm to farm. Page Trygstad said that he found references to a pesticide that is permitted for use on citrus in Florida but has not been approved in Hawaii for coffee. It is very hazardous, and Virginia said it is unlikely to be approved for local use. Virginia suggested trying Provado or Admire-Pro, which are approved for green scale and may have some effectiveness against twig borer.
Authentication of Kona Coffee. Prior to the special meeting, Sandra sent out copies of a draft journal article by Dr. Jun Wang and colleagues at UH-Manoa on a method to authenticate the percentage of Kona coffee in coffee blends.
The analysis of brewed coffees is quick and relatively inexpensive, so it can be useful to detect counterfeit “Kona” coffees and blends that contain less than the declared percentage of Kona coffee.
Sandra proposed to invite Dr. Jun to meet with KCFA board and members to present and discuss the study and its implications for Kona coffee farmers. Board agreed to invite them to a special meeting, to be coordinated with the Education Committee. Board suggested the meeting take place after the KCCF.
Meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM
Respectfully submitted, Sandra Scarr, Acting Secretary