KONA COFFEE FARMERS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING, September 15, 2015 CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
Board Members Present: Tom Butler, Anita Kelleher, Bruce Corker, Kurt Schweickhard, Colehour Bondera, Chris Coleman, Judy Schuman, Suzanne Shriner, Cea Smith, Allan Wang
100% Kona Coffee provided by Suzanne Shriner. Thank you.
Coffee next month: Chris Coleman
Call to Order at 3:05 pm by President Tom Butler.
Opening Statement—Tom recapped his reading on the elements of “running a meeting”. He has prepared guidelines on the subject that have been posted on the Board Access section of the website.
July Minutes—Kurt moved to accept the July minutes with a second from Judy. Motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report—Kurt reported on and reviewed the Profit and Loss for August 2015 and the Balance Sheet as of September 10, 2015. Anita moved to accept the Treasurer’s report with a second from Suzanne. Motion passed.
Approval of Membership Applications—No questions were raised as to the four membership applications submitted and the applications were deemed “approved”—with a request that in the future membership applications be identified as for voting, associate or supporting business memberships in the Membership Committee report.
Consent Agenda—There was further discussion of the HANO recommendation for streamlining meetings with a procedure for approval of committee reports that have been sent out with the meeting agenda and reviewed and considered by members prior to the meeting. Tom proposed future consideration of adding the minutes and membership application approvals to the Consent Agenda. The Board will be following the approach recommended by HANO. Bruce was asked to send out to Board members a copy of HANO consent agenda document. It was moved by Suzanne that the Committee Reports be accepted, with a second from Cea. Motion passed.
HANO WORKSHOP FOLLOW-UP AND RELATED ITEMS—Tom reviewed matters considered by the Executive Committee at an August 25 meeting. The minutes of that ExCom meeting are included in the Committee Reports—below.
ITEM # 1: Policy for non-member attendance at BOD meetings. Kurt moved, with a second from Cea, to adopt the policy recommended by the Executive Committee that “KCFA members and interested persons may attend Board meetings, but may not participate in the business of the meeting unless called upon by the Chair/President to do so.” Motion passed.
ITEM # 2: Cea reported that the initial trial delivery of coffee from KCFA to MacFarms had been completed—and that Tom is pursuing discussion of with MacFarms on expanding the use of genuine Kona coffee flavoring for other similar food products.
ITEM # 3: The matter of a financial audit of the KCFA was recommitted to the Executive Committee for further consideration. Other matters and recommendations from the HANO workshop identified Item # 3 of the ExCom minutes remain pending—including: “adoption of a conflict of interest policy with provisions recommended by HANO; adoption of a document retention policy; consideration of hiring an executive director to grow KCFA beyond an all volunteer-run organization; reconsideration of the current Board term limit provision in light of difficulties in attracting motivated Board members wiling to do the work; a unanimity requirement for email votes (required by Hawaii law?); adoption of a whistleblower policy.”
ITEM #4: Tom will be appointing a committee to develop a list of proposed Board candidates for the election at the 2016 Annual General Meeting.
Task Force Committee Meeting Report—Suzanne gave a report on the CBB Task Force Shipping Committee meeting of August 20 in Honolulu with representatives of the HDOA. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Quarantine Rules for the shipping of green coffee. The HDOA officials confirmed that because Oahu is now an “invested area” green coffee for roasting on Oahu can be shipped from Hawaii Island to Oahu without fumigation—as long as the coffee is double bagged and labeled. With regard to the Quarantine Rules provision that green coffee beans exported from an infested area with transshipment through another infested area “are not subject to quarantine restrictions”, the HDOA, however, is taking a position that those words don’t mean what they say. The HDOA is saying that all shipments of green coffee--including small shipments to mainland home roasters--must be inspected by HDOA at the airport before transshipment through Oahu via USPS, FedEx or UPS. Suzanne will seek written explanation from the HDOA of the basis of its position and will keep Board members advised of those communications.
Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll—Anita reported that a total of 11 farms have returned paperwork and checks for booth spaces—with a total of approximately 35 total farms expected to participate in the November 7 event. Tom stated that all Board members are expected to help Anita and her committee in the work of organizing the event.
CBB Task Force Dues—On September 11 Colehour sent an email to Board members concerning this item. He stated that he would be attending the annual NASDA (National Association of State Departments of Agriculture) meeting and would not be able to attend the Board meeting. Although not an official KCFA or AOPA representative, he was attending the meeting to advance the KCFA Heritage/Geographical Indications Committee's ongoing work to promote and protect regionally identified/origin products such as Kona Coffee. He requested that this matter be deferred to the October meeting so that he could personally participate in the Board’s deliberations. If not deferred, he requested that his email be included in the meeting record as relevant notes.
Anita and Bruce stated support for the deferral request. The request was not granted. Colehour’s email is appended at the bottom of these minutes, as requested.
Kurt moved, with a second from Cea, for the payment of 2015 dues to the CBB Task Force in the amount of $500.
Points made in favor of the motion included: having a place at the table with those having potentially adverse interests is a benefit to KCFA; poor performance by the Task Force last year is being improved; the Task Force will be seeking new grants to combat CBB.
Points made in opposition included: KCFA needs to be the “independent voice” for coffee farmers whereas the Task Force was put together by Hawaii Coffee Company, is dominated by HCC and its allies, and the TF president is HCC employee, Roger Kaiwi; the purpose for incorporating the Task Force was the HDOA grant that ended in May of this year.
The vote: 5 yes (Kurt, Suzanne, Cea, Randy [by proxy cast by Cea], and Chris.
4 no (Judy, Colehour (by proxy cast by Judy), Bruce, Allan
Not voting (Anita who left before the vote--after the scheduled adjournment time of 4:30)
Deferred---Andrea Kawabata Request; David Kim Request; Newsletter Deadline; Hosting House Finance Committee Meeting in Kona; EXPO.
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.
Submitted By Bruce Corker, Secretary
Committee Reports for Tuesday September 15
Executive Committee (Pres. V-Pres, Sec. Treas. and Past-Pres.) KCFA Executive Committee
Minutes of August 25 meeting, Higashihara Park, 2:30 to 4:00 pm.-Present: Tom Butler, Anita Kelleher, Bruce Corker, Kurt Schweickhard, Cea Smith
Item # 1—Policy for non-member attendance at BOD meetings.
Tom explained that this item had been prompted by a request of a crop insurance agent to attend the August Board meeting to learn more about the KCFA and its mission. When Cea noted that the individual is an associate member, the discussion was broadened to the question of attendance of KCFA members and interested non-Board members. In the discussion it was also noted that Art. III.2.1 of the By-Laws provides that "Associate members may attend all meetings and participate in events of the organization." It was further noted that in the past new farmers have attended Board meetings as part of their process of deciding whether to join KCFA.
Kurt made a motion, seconded by Anita that “The Executive Committee recommends to the Board for adoption a policy that KCFA members and interested persons may attend Board meetings, but may not participate in the business of the meeting unless called upon by the Chair/President to do so.”
Motion passed: 3 yes (Kurt, Anita Bruce); 0 no votes; 1 abstention (Cea).
Item # 2—KCFA/MacFarms Coffee Alliance
Tom reported on his communications with Larry Nixon of MacFarms about KCFA coffee deliveries. MacFarms is requesting a first delivery in early September for shipment to their mainland producer of flavor concentrates. After discussion it was agreed that the Branding Committee should proceed to organize the arrangements for the first delivery as a trial run with coffee provided by BOD members. If more than 3 members are interested, the coffee will be from 3 farms selected by lot.
Tom also noted that after a trip to the “Made in Hawaii” show in Honolulu, Larry is interested in exploring the possibility of providing KCFA/MacFarms’ 100% Kona coffee flavoring to other manufacturers of “Kona coffee flavored” food items. From his Honolulu discussions, Larry believes there are a number of producers that are less than certain about the genuineness of their current flavoring and are interested in using MacFarms’ genuine Kona coffee flavoring—with KCFA recognition. It was agreed that Tom should pursue discussions of this possibility—but that coffee for such flavoring should be grade prime or better.
Item #3—HANO Review
One of the recommendations from HANO was that non-profit organizations periodically have an outside financial audit performed. Kurt, as Treasurer, stated his agreement with this recommendation and noted that to his knowledge KCFA has never had a financial audit. Kurt said that he believes an adequate audit would run approximately $750—and perhaps less--and would benefit the organization. Questions were raised as to whether, given the modest scope of KCFA finances, this expenditure of funds would be justified
Bruce made a motion, seconded by Kurt, that “The Executive Committee recommends to the Board that KCFA retain an auditor to conduct a financial audit.”
Motion passed: 3 yes (Kurt, Bruce and Tom): 2 voted no (Anita and Cea).
Other HANO recommendations and issues that were discussed, but on which any formal recommendation to the full Board was deferred for later decision, included: use of a “Consent Agenda” procedure for improving governance and efficiency of meetings; adoption of a conflict of interest policy with provisions recommended by HANO; adoption of a document retention policy; consideration of hiring an executive director to grow KCFA beyond an all volunteer-run organization; reconsideration of the current Board term limit provision in light of difficulties in attracting motivated Board members willing to do the work; a unanimity requirement for email votes (required by Hawaii law?); adoption of a whistleblower policy.
Item # 4—2016 Board Nominations
There was discussion of forming an Elections Committee to develop a slate of nominees/candidates for the BOD election at the January 2016 Annual General Meeting. It was noted that in the past, Board members not up for reelection (those with one year remaining on their two-year terms) have been encouraged to volunteer serve as elections committee members. Pros and cons of a large vs. smaller Election Committee were discussed. Tom will give further consideration to the appointment of committee members.
Finance - K. Schweickhard
Balance Sheet & P&L are were circulated to the Board, as was the Revised Budget.Discovered an error on the final 2015/2016 Budget report. Only the Fundraising column Total Net changes, addition missed one cell. The total net budget number is not affected.
As it currently is the case, the treasurer is the keeper of most KCFA "Records", including financials, corporate and tax records.
Following the discussions the board had on either evaluating, updating or establishing various required policies, attached is a "Record Retention Policy" (3 pages). It is based on several examples extracted from the internet specifically oriented towards non profit organizations. It can be discussed at the board convenience.
As discussed at the last meeting, had a conversation with our accountant Patricia Schumacher regarding an audit of KCFA`s books. Her opinion is that a full blown official audit ($750 fee) may be "overkill". She suggested that in October she will visit the Island and at that time she could meet with myself and any other board member and review the books and what we are doing. It would be an estimated 2-3 hours at a cost of $500.Taking this route would satisfy the need for an independent evaluation of KCFA`s finances and procedures.
Lastly, KCFA has received (2 months ago) an invoice from CBB Task Force requesting annual fee of $500. Need approval to pay.
Fundraising/Social Events BOARD
Kona Heritage – C. Bondera
Regarding the Geographical Identity or Origin efforts, it is with significant respect that attendance at the annual NASDA (National Association of State Departments of Agriculture) meeting was offered to Colehour Bondera as a local farmer. This sponsorship was facilitated via The Kohala Center to identified farmer supporters. The February, 2014 event that was attended for KCFA and the American Origin Products Association (AOPA) in Washington, DC area
Kona Heritage Committee the annual legislative meeting of NASDA, and this is the annual membership meeting. This meeting is being hosted by Hawaii since Scott Enright is the present Chair (President of BOD) of NASDA, and that is where the membership meeting moves each year.
This meeting is being held at the Keauhou Sheraton. Time will be spent communicating with Ag Department people and other attendees from around the country on how Geographical Identity of an agricultural product, such as Kona coffee, is so important for not simply tourism, but for the farmers to make it! Large agricultural groups send representatives to these meetings since this is where many people are in one place at one time and thereby policy can be influenced.
While there will not be an opportunity for a presentation to be made, there will be plenty of chances to talk with others who are present, and perhaps get them to recognize that products such as Kona coffee must be protected by the states where they are produced! A over-view report of contacts made and potential impact will be shared, though this is not officially a KCFA or AOPA representation that will be carried out…
Colehour Bondera, Chair
*Branding –Corker and Smith
Please alert the Branding Committee when you encounter questionable use of the Kona Coffee name. This past month Board members raised issues covered in two articles included in the September issue of the “Independent Voice”: (1) Honolulu’s Royal Hawaiian Hotel charging up to $1350/night but providing 10% Kona blend in the guestrooms; and (2) Chris Coleman’s initiative that resulted in 100% Kona coffee being served instead of Royal Kona blend at the September 5 Sayre Foundation Dinner.
Another example is this link forwarded by KCFA member Mark Shultise. Take a look:
In this posting and in the linked puff piece for Hawaii Coffee Company and McDonald’s Hawaii aired on KHON-TV the words “Kona Coffee” are used again and again. In the video there is occasional mention of that the McDonald’s Hawaii coffee is a “blend” , but not a single mention that only 10% is from Kona or that 90% is imported.
Let us know when you encounter deception and misuse of the “Kona Coffee” name. We need to work to protect our brand.
At the end of the 2015 Session of the Hawaii Legislature, the Senate Agriculture Committee was folded into a new committee--the Water, Land and Agriculture Committee. Honolulu Senator Mike Gabbard was named Chair of this new committee.
Sen. Gabbard sent Tom Butler an email saying that he is reaching out to get feedback on Water, Land and Agriculture issues in advance of the 2016 Session. The Legislative Committee will put together a response to this request. If you have suggestions for feedback for the Senator, please let us know.
As of today, there are 275 Active Voting members, 35 Supporting Business members and 41 Associate members. Total of 348
New members are:
- Tara Cronin-Kailua Kona-Rooster Farms-[email protected]
- James Ameika-Kamuela-Kona Cloud Coffee Estates Inc-[email protected]
- Pam Alden-Captain Cook-Rabbit Hill Farm-[email protected]
- Ernest Simien-Kealakekua-Coffee Over Nuts-[email protected]
Wondering if KCFA has ever considered providing a template written agreement for members selling cherry.
PR/Marketing- Kelleher -PR Chair
- The new Brochure is being distributed by Big Island Brochures.
- The small ad is in Keola Magazine.
- Preparations for the Holualoa Coffee and Art Stroll, November 7 are moving along well.
- Sent out Newsletter.
- Again, Please think about sending in articles for Clare.
- At Bruce’s urging I contacted The Royal Hawaiian about serving 100% Kona instead of a 10% Blend.
- I was acknowledged and waiting to hear if they wish to speak to us about using 100% Kona in the rooms.
- Any thoughts for the Nov/Dec AD in Keola? I am working on that now.
- I noticed that Crazy Shirts has a group of Kona Coffee Dyed shirts. I am wondering if they use Kona Coffee?
Pest & Disease-B. Smith
*CBB Task Force-K. Schweickhard
- Need “What is Kona Worth” input. Please send any noted prices for cherry, the place located and the buyer to [email protected]
- The host for the KCFA site needs to be change. Happens. Be on the alert for any oddities until our programmer finds a new host which she is doing.
*Wrote to all Classified Listors asking for changes or deletions etc.
- Posted and sent out numerous items of interest and the Newsletter. Posted on FaceBook.
Board Development- Executive Committee
HDOA Grant- C. Bondera
This effort continues onward with many KCFA members and non members continuing to participate in the cost savings opportunity! The revised payment schedule, which was approved along with the grant extension, is now in effect since payment has been received by KCFA from HDOA to bring our grant spending up to date.
Plans are to update the required reporting, and to look at the record collecting aspects of the grant which require some of the budgeted funds, so that we can spend to the final component of the money before the grant is complete in June, 2016.
Of note is that the approved Bb product used by certified organic (and many other farmers), Mycotrol, is no longer approved by the Materials Review group which has to authorize use for the certified operations. While there is effort to replace said product, there is no available substitute at this time. This will affect the grant spending to some degree since certified organic farmers cannot purchase non-organic Bb, and any change will require approval by HDOA to be included as the item to be used (though this is not anticipated as a problem at all).
Aloha Kurt and KCFA BOD:
Thank you for the updates/corrections and thoughts.
My understanding was that we had decided to have the groups’ financial records audited by an outside party, so it is a bit confusing that our existing accountant would be contracted to lead a review what that same person has already been involved with. Seems like an example again of someone trying to wear two hats at the same time, leaving us as a group more, and not less vulnerable, for which reason it is not my belief that our vote was for the proposed action…
On the other hand, an invitation has been accepted which means that Sept 13-16 it is not possible for me to be at any KCFA event (including the meeting). In summary the event that I attended for KCFA and the American Origin Products Association in Washington, DC area which was the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is being hosted by Hawaii since Scott Enright is the Chair (President of BOD) of NASDA, and that is where the meeting moves each year. It is being held at the Keauhou Sheraton. My time will be spent communicating with Ag Dept people from around the country on how Geographical Identity of an agricultural product, such as Kona coffee, is so important for not simply tourism, but for the farmers to make it!
In any case, it has not been brought up that we would be discussing or deciding about membership of the CBB Task Force at our monthly meeting, so thank you for noting that in your financial report. Seems that it is relevant for you to bring up, but from the perspective of serving as the designated KCFA spokesperson with said entity and not as the Treasurer...
Over the years it has not once been clear to me what the purpose of said entity is, and never has there been action taken that has benefited either farmers in general or KCFA members in particular, IMHO. These observations have come from speaking with Bob Smith about this group from first formation, and extensively with David Case who was requested (and did) facilitate the formation of a legal group. Your time representing KCFA to the CBB Task Force is appreciated, and this is not to comment about that effort.
Again, it is unclear WHY we should be putting forth funds simple to buy a place at a table, so to speak!
However, why we would pay for a place at the table with the coffee processing industry is even less obvious when another present KCFA BOD member has now chosen to be the CBB Task Force Executive Director, and so there is not really a rationale for also paying. If, as has been suggested, there may be some actions from the CBB Task Force that are of some use to KCFA, then we should reconsider such a membership/paid place at the table if some “new” direction (despite that it is the same exact people) is taken.
Let’s take a break for a year, and listen and watch what is done. We just decided (last meeting) to spend $300-$400 for the expenses to send Suzanne as a BOD member to a meeting of this group, and we could have made the same decision if we were not members. Why not take a one year break to be convinced that some benefit for our members can be identified, since after many hundreds of hours and substantial financial investment the real truth is that an organization which has a Mission that matches with actions may or may not deserve our participation, but that is not clear at present, especially as it has played out in terms of having an impact for farmers on CBB in Hawaii. The CBB Task Force has not taken action that our membership can be shown is a benefit for them. While a few minor details, or holding a place at the table, could be put forth as counters to this broad comment, last the end of the day we must balance cost and benefit and the value of participation is not true in past actions, even if it could be in some future shifts…
From my perspective, given the timing and schedules and varied perspectives on the subject area, it is best for us to postpone this discussion/decision until our October meeting, and I hereby request said postponement.
However, if this subject is brought up for conversation and/or voting at the meeting on Sept 15, my request is that my comments (above) be included in the meeting record as relevant notes. If there is an actual vote for paying a CBB Task Force membership at this time, my proxy vote in opposition needs to be recorded. If this subject could or is postponed until a future meeting, it would be my pleasure to prepare more details of both experience and observation of the KCFA history on this, as well as the CBB Task Force history in terms of decisions which had potential and/or could have affected our members much more than what happened (which was the primary reason that our grant with the HDOA was pursued, since the management of previous very similar HDOA funding by the CBB Task Force was clearly going to only tangentially and very slowly address the needs of our farmer members, and because of which so much other energy on the grant had to be put forth by yours truly).
Again, perhaps with a reformed Mission and different leadership, something could be accomplished by the CBB Task Force, but that theory is not justification for putting forth funds to maintain a status quo that has not been helpful thus far!
TY and while it is clear to me that these thoughts will not be taken positively by some, that the intent is simple: we must stay true to our Mission and not let other interests guide our priorities. Lets’ focus on the KCFA PR for which we have focused our budget at this time, and be sure that our decisions and efforts are things that we all can and will be working towards harmoniously.