“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association
PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA
Message from President Petersen
Symposium Volunteers Needed
Legislators Introduce Stricter Kona Coffee Labeling Laws
Economic Report on Changes in Hawaii’s Coffee Labeling Law
Reporting of Agricultural Theft
KCFA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
DEA for Release of Metaphycus macadamiae
FWIW- Annual Rainfall
Coffee Wakefulness Doesn’t Come only from Caffeine
Compost Reimbursement Program
Negative Carbon Emissions
Coffee’s Generation Gap could Create Opportunities
How Packaging Color Influences Consumers
Coffee with Milk May Increase Anti-Inflammatory Effect
The Complex Arabica Coffee Genome
El Niño Continues in the Tropical Pacific Ocean
Editor – Clare Wilson
Aloha Coﬀee Farmers,
The New Year seems to be in full gear. On my farm we have finished pruning and are planning our steps to lessen the effects of the Coffee Borer Beetle, Twig Beetle and Leaf Rust in the next year. That is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to the KCFA COFFEE FARMERS SYMPOSIUM.
KCFA will hold the symposium on Friday, March 1, at the Outrigger Resort Convention Center. Our opening speaker to start the conference is José Tulio, a renowned coffee producer with a family tradition in Guatemala. He currently chairs the Board of Directors of the National Coffee Association of Anacafé. His experience covers fundamental aspects of agronomic management of coffee, control of economically impactful pests, such as Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR), varieties, and quality. His knowledge of the management strategies and policy actions implemented in Guatemala's coffee sector will be interesting as we think about them in context of our production settings.
We talked with him on a zoom call, and he informed us that farmers in Guatemala had to deal with CLR starting in 2008. We asked that he share the experiences of the last 15 years coping with CLR. I like to think we can learn from their trial and error and discovery. In addition to diseases and pests I think he will also give us an idea of typical production practices used in Guatemala. I am personally looking forward to meeting Jose and learning from him about coffee production in Guatemala.
Kona Coffee Growers have a lot in common with farmers in Guatemala such as volcanic soils, diversity in farm elevations and rainfall and Kona Typica is derived from Guatemala Typica.
There is something special about your Association’s Symposium compared to most agricultural associations’ conferences and that is it is FREE to members. As a KCFA member all you need to do is go to the web site, sign in, and register here free of charge. The conference will start at 9:00 am, includes lunch and will conclude in the afternoon.
Our sponsors are particularly important to the success of this meeting. They fund the meeting, so you do not have to pay a registration fee. Our sponsors are impressive to be so supportive of KCFA.
See you on March 1.
Mahalo nui loa!
Symposium Volunteers Needed
We need help to put on this amazing event. If you are willing to spend an hour or so helping out with registration or our merchandise table, please let us know at email@example.com.
Kona Legislators Introduce Stricter Kona Coffee Labeling Laws
Hawai`i House of Representatives Press Release
Please share this email with your members, friends, and other constituents who would benefit from this information.
Theft of agricultural crops, livestock, equipment, chemicals, fertilizers, materials and supplies severely impacts the livelihood of the local producers we depend on to provide jobs and food for our County. Unfortunately, the incidences of agriculture theft and trespassing are under-reported. This lack of statistical data reduces the legislative urgency for financial support to increase staffing and investment in anti-theft equipment that the police need to curb these “invisible” criminal activities.
The Department of Research and Development, in collaboration with the Hawai‘i Police Department and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, has produced a fillable form that a victim of agricultural theft/trespass can prepare and leave for the responding officer. Reporting theft and trespassing incidences will help with the investigations and build a more realistic view of the agricultural theft problem in Hawai‘i County.
The form can be downloaded at: https://www.rd.hawaiicounty.
Glenn T. Sako
Hawaii County Research and Development
Direct line: 808-961-8811
WHY: Coffee trees require yearly pruning to remove unproductive branches and to make space for new vigorous growth. Coffee verticals have a growth cycle of 3 years. Maximum production is achieved the 3rd year. Growth thereafter is on a biennial schedule with high yield/low yield in alternating years. Approximately 1/3 of the verticals will be removed yearly.
WHEN: The pruning season begins usually in January. The pruning “window” is January- April, so pruning should be accomplished when moisture conditions are conducive for new vigorous growth.
1) Kona Style or Multiple Verticals
This method treats every tree individually with verticals of all ages on the same tree. This method allows much leeway on the number of verticals per coffee stump. Usually, it consists of 2 verticals each of the different ages – (2/1 year, 2/2 years and 3/3 years) – though this method can have endless variations and some verticals can be even taken to a fourth or fifth year.
2) Beaumont/Fukunaga Method
This pruning method recognizes the 3 year cycle and treats every tree, in a row, the same way. Thus 1 row will be pruned each year, resulting in rows of 1, 2 and 3 year old verticals. This method is the easiest to master and most economical, however it allows for no variation.
TREATMENT of PRUNED VERTICALS:
Pruning results in a mess! Pruned verticals can be mechanically chipped or hand cut and mulched or simply piled up and allowed to decompose naturally.
**Note returning the pruning matter to the ground adds organic material back to the soil. Burning prunings is not recommended as it is a waste of potential nutrition and pollutes.
1) When pruning a coffee tree for the first time, cut at approximate height of 24” – 30”.
2) On older trees, prune off verticals approximately 1”- 2” above stump.
3) Allowing the prunings to lie in place until the leaves fall off is a good way to redistribute leaf litter. It also lightens up the vertical, making it easier to deal with.
4) Remove all sucker growth at the time of pruning.
KCFA Pruning Video here
KCFA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
March 1, 2024 Register Now!
Register now for our second annual Symposium. It’s a full day of coffee-related speakers,
information and networking. Vendors will be on site to share the latest information and
technology. Lunch is included.
You will not want to miss our Keynote speaker, José Tulio González, renowned coffee producer with a family tradition in the field and currently President of the Board of Directors of the National Coffee Association of Guatemala (Anacafé). His experience covers fundamental aspects of agronomic management, control of economically impactful pests, such as Coffee Leaf Rust, varieties, and quality. His knowledge of the strategies and policy actions implemented in Guatemala’s coffee sector will add great value to the event attendees. Our regions have a shared history through the Typica tree, which was brought from Guatemala to Kona in 1882.
Leading scientists and industry experts will also discuss soil health, fertilizer use, processing for quality, and a host of topics relevant to the issues faced on Hawaii farms.
For Members, our Annual General Meeting will be held immediately after, with an update on KCFA activities and an election of new board members.
You must Register by February 15. Free to members (sign in first!), and only $75 for lunch for non-members and guests. 100% Kona coffee will be served. The event will run from 9 am to 4pm, with sign-in and coffee, beginning at 8am.
Interested in volunteering, or sponsoring this event? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Outrigger Keauhou is located at 78-128 Ehukai Street. The symposium will be in the
Kaleiopapa Convention Center. Parking is free.
DEA for the Proposed Release of Metaphycus macadamiae for Biological Control of Felted Coccid
We are excited to share that the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) and Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact (AFNSI) for the proposed statewide field release of Metaphycus macadamiae for biological control of the invasive pest macadamia felted coccid (Acanthococcus ironsidei) has been published on January 8, 2024, by the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development Environmental Review Program (ERP).
The full DEA is found at the ERP website: NB- LINK correction>> http://tinyurl.com/2phf4wxe
Letters of support and recommendation (template attached) to release this natural enemy to control the invasive macadamia felted coccid will benefit this years-long research project and help to move it forward in the permitting process. Please submit any questions or comments on the DEA by February 8, 2024, by email to email@example.com or by mail to:
Janis Matsunaga, Entomologist
Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture
Plant Pest Control Branch
Nathan Trump, President
Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association
Study: Coffee Wakefulness Effect Doesn’t Come only from Caffeine
“MILAN – Scientists testing coffee against plain caffeine found that plain caffeine only partially reproduces the effects of drinking a cup of coffee, activating areas of the brain that make you feel more alert but not the areas of the brain that affect working memory and goal-directed behavior.
For many people, the day doesn’t start until their coffee mug is empty. Coffee is often thought to make you feel more alert, so people drink it to wake themselves up and improve their efficiency. Portuguese scientists studied coffee-drinkers to understand whether that wakefulness effect is dependent on the properties of caffeine, or whether it’s about the experience of drinking coffee…”
Accepting Applications for Compost Reimbursement Program
The Hawai’i Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division is accepting applications for the Compost Reimbursement Program for Fiscal Year 2024.
Agricultural producers awarded funds through the program will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing compost, including transportation costs.
Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture, said compost is an essential and high-cost necessity for many agricultural operations. This program will support Hawai‘i’s farmers, ranchers and growers.
Funding for the program was passed by the State Legislature during the 2023 legislative session. In September 2023, Gov. Josh Green released $450,000 for reimbursement.
Farming operations may apply for reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of compost purchased between July 1, 2023 and May 1, 2024.
Reimbursements under this program are not to exceed $50,000 per qualified purchaser and will be processed as funds remain available.
Under the reimbursement program, compost must be purchased from a certified processor, retailer or wholesaler licensed to do business in Hawai‘i. In addition, certified Hawai‘i processors are limited to those companies regulated under the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Solid Waste Management Program.
Qualified agricultural operations include commercial agriculture, aquacultural facilities, livestock, poultry, apiary and landscaping activities.
Applicants must also provide a W-9 tax form, a sample invoice from the applicant’s business and proof of compliance with federal, state and county tax and business regulations. The deadline to submit invoices is May 1, 2024.
Panama, Colombia, Ethiopia: There is no “best” origin for Gesha coffee
“For 20 years, Gesha has remained one of the most sought-after varieties in the world.
After its meteoric rise to specialty coffee fame in 2004, it has since received record-
breaking bids at numerous renowned coffee auctions – especially in Panama.
We often associate Gesha with Panama – and for good reason. It was in this Central
American country that producers discovered the variety’s huge potential in terms of
quality. Gesha’s origins, however, are in Ethiopia, where it still grows today. Moreover,
other countries have also started to produce Gesha – including Colombia and
This raises the question: is there a “best” origin for Gesha? Or is that impossible (or
potentially even unfair) to answer?
To find out, I spoke to Adam Overton, general manager at Gesha Village and Ben
Rowe, owner of Just Bru Coffee and Harmony Coffee Roasters.
GESHA: A HISTORY
Like its name, Gesha originates from the Gesha region of Ethiopia. According to the
International Trade Centre Coffee Guide, Gesha is an Ethiopian landrace variety. In
agricultural terms, this means it developed naturally to a specific local environment over
many generations – most likely without any human intervention….”
Study: Negative Carbon Emissions on Coffee Farms in Brazil
“In the wake of the debates on climate change during COP 28, the Institute of Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora) published a study on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, carried out on coffee farms in the Cerrado Mineiro region, which shows that the farms sequester more carbon than they emit. The institute assessed 20 properties associated with the Cerrado Coffee Growers’ Cooperative (Expocacer), using the Carbon On Track service platform, and found a negative emissions figure of -0.2 ton of carbon dioxide, equivalent to one hectare per year.
This phenomenon occurs when carbon sequestration from the soil and plants is greater than emissions, and by analysing the farms’ GHG emission estimates, Imaflora arrived at an absolute value of 15,400 tCO2e.year-1, which is considered low…”
Why Addressing Coffee’s Generation Gap Could Create Opportunities for Farmers
- Across the world, less than 5% of farmers are under the age of 35
- A growing generational gap among coffee producers threatens the sector’s future
- Finding ways to retain young people in coffee farming will be crucial
COFFEE PRODUCTION faces challenges on a number of fronts. It’s therefore no surprise that the next generation of prospective coffee farmers is displaying a level of uncertainty about following in their parent’s footsteps.
Climate change, a volatile market, and rising production costs are just a few factors driving young farmers away, and contributing to a growing generation gap in coffee production.
Increasingly, these farmers are migrating to urban areas in search of better economic opportunities, or they are motivated to switch to more profitable and reliable crops. Ultimately, many young people hold concerns about the long-term viability of coffee farming…”
And this is a feeling held by older, more seasoned coffee farmers. Having been subject to years of volatile prices and increasingly difficult growing conditions, parents may encourage their children away from coffee farming to pursue a professional career outside of agriculture – not wanting them to face the same stress and uncertainty they have experienced…”
How Packaging Color Influences Consumer Behaviour
Coffee Science Foundation Study
“Neuroscientist Dr. Fabiana Carvalho shares the recent results of a Coffee Science Foundation study, supported by Savor Brands Inc., to understand how packaging color influences consumer behavior. Mary Basco, Research Programs Manager, SCA, talks about her last experience with Dr. Carvalho and Renata Shimuzi with the final, in-person element of this project. Here is what she experienced and her introduction to Carvalho’s study. The full article was published in 25, issue 20 in SCA official website can be found here.
Introduction: how packaging color influences consumer behaviour
by Mary Basco
“In the bustling world of coffee, where first impressions matter just as much as the taste itself, new research is emerging that may very well redefine packaging design. Led by Dr. Fabiana Carvalho, a neuroscientist at the forefront of understanding the complex interplay between design, perception, and coffee enjoyment, the research was designed to unravel the intricate connections between our senses and emotions…”
“Coffee that is combined with milk may double the natural anti-inflammatory properties of immune cells, according to research published this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
For the study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark investigated how polyphenols behaved when combined with certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
The research does not yet provide clear connections between consumer coffee consumption and health outcomes. To this point, this particular research has focused on studying cells in laboratory settings, while the researchers seek further funding to apply the premises to animal research, then to human research.
“In the study, we show that as a polyphenol reacts with an amino acid, its inhibitory effect on inflammation in immune cells is enhanced,” University of Copenhagen professor and study author Marianne Nissen Lund said in an announcement of the findings. “As such, it is clearly imaginable that this cocktail could also have a beneficial effect on inflammation in humans.”…”
The Complex Arabica Coffee Genome
“…recently employed the latest genome sequencing technologies to coffee samples, finding yet again a notable lack of genetic diversity in arabica. Yet they also found some changes at the chromosomal level that might begin to explain why there are different characteristics — such as flavor, disease susceptibility or caffeine level — associated with different coffee cultivars.
El Niño Continues in the Tropical Pacific Ocean
Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are expected to return to neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) levels in the southern hemisphere autumn 2024
Like what you read here each month? If you’re not a current member of KCFA, please click here and join us at the Farmer, Supporter, or Business level.
Recipes Wanted! If any of you have recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write to us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name and email address >> Email: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.
Let us know what you would like to see in our newsletter. Suggestions on what to include or not. What could we do better. Let us know. Clarewilson98@gmail.com