Kona Coffee Farmers Association Board Meeting September 18, 2012 held at CTAHR Office Kainaliu Hawaii
Call to Order at 3:30pm by President Cea Smith
Thank you Louise Hanna, Luther Coffee Farm for today’s coffee.
Next month coffee to be provided by Paul Uster
Board Members in attendance: Cea Smith, Mary Lou Moss, Bruce Corker, Colehour Bondera, , Clare Wilson, Louise Hanna, Christy Carrico, Kurt Schweickhard (Bookkeeper), 6 members and one visitor.
Thomas Butler, Paul Ulster (absent)
Guest, Ryan Mustone, from St. Louis, MO introduced himself.
Review and approval of August Board Meeting Minutes
Call for corrections?
It is hereby moved that the August 2012 Meeting Minutes be adopted as corrected.
Motion made by: C. Carrico, Seconded by: C. Bondera. Passed Yes__7___No__0___ Abstain__0___
The report was presented by Kurt Schweickhard. Kurt urged that the board members review his 10 attachments and decide what information they would want included on a monthly basis. Kurt reported that the finance committee is working on a system to train volunteers how to handle the record keeping of sales, deposits and inventory at association events so that we have the information necessary to keep detailed financial records.
Motion for new Treasurer
It is here by resolved that since as of August 21, 2012 Christy Carrico , has stepped down as Treasurer, and Louise Hanna has agreed to serve as treasurer until the next annual meeting and Kurt Schweickhard will maintain the Association’s books and The following actions will be taken in order to facilitate the change in officers, i.e., Christy Carrico will be deleted as a signature from our bank accounts at Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. The following people: Cea Smith, Louise Hanna, and Kurt Schweickhard, are designated to have signatory authority on the Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s accounts at the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union account numbers:
It is further resolved that action will be jointly taken by these designated individuals to inform the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union of the signature authority changes, sign new signature cards and reset the passwords and security questions on the accounts for online access.
Discussion: C. Bondera offered that he did not want us to set a precedent of authorizing just anyone to have a signature over our bank accounts, although he fully supported Kurt having signature. L. Hanna explained that we were in an unusual and temporary ( till next annual meeting) situation, namely, the Treasurer needs to be a Board member, but we need an experienced Quickbooks person who lives close to the credit union to keep our books, and the bylaws allow the board to appoint an individual to have signature on our accounts.
Motion made by: L Hanna, Seconded by: Mary Lou Moss. Motion passed. Yes 7 No 0 Abstain 0
Corporate Resolution was signed by the attending board members. It was agreed that a meeting time for C. Carrico, L. Hanna, C. Smith, and K. Swchweickhard to meet at the credit union would be set after the meeting. Time subsequently arranged Friday September 21, 2012 at 10am.
A Safeway Update was given by Bruce Corker. Bruce explained that Safeway failed to meet either of its two principal commitments that led KCFA to suspend our Safeway Boycott last fall. Those two Safeway commitments were to (1) offer 100% Kona in select California stores by April of 2012; and (2) to disclose “10% Minimum Kona Beans” on the Kona Blend label by July 1, 2012. In recent correspondence Safeway said that it had been unable to put 100% Kona on the shelves because of CBB-caused shortages and that it had already made the label change to disclose the “10% Minimum Kona Beans”. Notwithstanding Safeway's representation, however, between July 5 and August 26 when KCFA members visited six different Safeway stores in California and Washington State, none of the Safeway Select Safeway Blend packages on the shelves had the “10% Minimum Kona Beans” disclosure. On September 11, when a KCFA member visited a seventh different Safeway Store, for the first time “10% “ disclosure language was found on packages. It appears that Safeway may now be making the change—although much later than Safeway promised and after repeated inquiries from KCFA.
David Case reported that during his meetings in Honolulu on September 14, Jim Wayman of Hawaii Coffee Company said that he now has a deal to supply Safeway with 100% Kona for the select California stores.
Bruce urged that in order to determine exactly what is on the shelves, we ask mainland relatives and friends to visit Safeway and Von stores and report if they can find the new Safeway Select Kona Blend labels or packages of 100% Kona coffee. Christy Carrico offered to contact 100 people in the Bay area by email requesting the verification. Bruce further proposed that once the facts as to what is on the shelves have been determined, we should issue a press release advising the public as to the outcome of KCFA’s efforts. There was agreement of board members to follow this course.
Bruce also reported that there is a class action lawsuit against Safeway brought by an individual plaintiff in California who alleges that she was mislead by Safeway’s previous labeling to believe she was purchasing “Kona Coffee”. The plaintiff is seeking $5 million in damages for a class of similarly deceived Safeway consumers. This suit is ongoing with cross motions for summary judgment scheduled for November. Paige Trygstad asked if Kona farmers could join the class action suit, and Bruce explained that while farmers may have potential claims against Safeway they are not members of the consumer class the plaintiff is seeking to represent.
Safeway’s performance as to its commitments to KCFA remains an ongoing issue.
Dave Case gave a report on the Friday September 14, 2012 meeting held on Oahu for the HDOA and CBB Task Force.
Dave attended the meeting with only 3 days notice and Cea Smith expressed the board’s gratitude. There were actually 2 meetings – The HDOA meeting to discuss the process of developing new regulations to respond to the new order resulting from the passage of HB280 which ended mandatory certification of exported green coffee. The process is that HDOA will propose new regulations for paper work which would be required to accompany the shipment of coffee which is moved out of its district of origin or (exact geographic region of production), those districts being Kau, Kona (N and S Kona), Kamuela, Maui, Kauai, Molokai.? Those regulation recommendations would be generated by HDOA probably in November 2012 and sent to the Small Business Committee, who would then send their recommendations probably in December 2012 to the Governor and then public hearings would be scheduled probably in January 2013 which would be held on all islands where coffee is grown. So the old regulations concerning grading of coffee are still in effect until the new regulations have gone through this process. There will probably not be any more meetings which we can attend so it was decided that KCFA should write a letter to Russell Kokubun requesting that we be kept up to date on the progression of this government process.
The second meeting was the CBB task force which focused on the SHAC Grant which was funded on May 25, 2012 in the amount of $530,000, to study and combat the CBB infestation. Two regions have been identified for study purposes 1. Bruner aka Filipino Clubhouse Road in Honaunau and 2. Kau. The scientists from UH have been brought to the table, and the following tasks have been identified as crucial:
- Data Base Mapping is needed to verify where the CBB is currently.
- Pest management education of farmers and processors needs to be provided.
- Area wide sanitation will be executed in one of the 2 study areas and monitoring of the spread of CBB will be performed.
- A first alert system needs to be implemented in Hawaiian coffee areas where the CBB is not yet present.
The actual plan for the grant money is be copied and distributed via KCFA website.
Attendees lists at the 2 meetings are to be supplied by David Case.
Sandra Scarr reported that the KCFA candidate forum will be held at is Konawaena Intermediate School Cafeteria on October 10, 2012 6-8pm. All the local candidates have accepted the invitation to participate. The theme is “To Protect and Promote Hawaiian Agricultural Products” the Hawaiian Tropical Fruit Growers and the Hawaiian Farmers Union are co-sponsors of the event. Each candidate will be allowed a 2 minute introduction and then prepared questions will be asked and audience members will be allowed to submit additional questions from the floor via 3/5 note cards. Sandra requested and received volunteers to perform specific tasks from the board and members present to help facilitate the event.
Mary Lou Moss extended the invitation to attend the Members BBQ at 2step on Sunday September 23, 2012, time 12pm – 4 pm.
Meeting adjourned at 5:26pm by Cea Smith.
And thank you to Louise Hanna for taking these meeting notes in the absence of our Secretary.