US Supreme Court and Deceptive Labeling
Coffee Standards Amendments – more pilikia
Fertilize Your Coffee Trees
Aid for Botanigard/Mycotrol Cost – Coming Soon
Symptoms of Coffee Rust
Letter from KCFA Member
Trade Coffee for APAC tickets
The BIG Island
Recipe – Kona Coffee Rubbed Salmon tacos
Editor- Clare Wilson
U.S. Supreme Court Considers Deceptive Labeling
On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Pom Wonderful vs. Coca-Cola. Pom Wonderful, a California-based company that markets genuine pomegranate juice, has sued Coca-Cola for damages arising from deceptive marketing of a product labeled as a “Pomegranate Blueberry” drink. The label for the drink prominently shows pictures of a pomegranate and blueberries, but in fact the beverage contains no more than 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice. 99.5% of the product consists mostly of less expensive apple and grape juices.
Pom Wonderful’s lawsuit alleges that Coca-Cola’s labeling deceives consumers and causes economic damage to its business.
Coca-Cola’s defense has been that because it complies with federal Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements, it is not liable for damages even if the labels are deceptive.
In the argument before the Court, there was a fascinating exchange between Justice Anthony Kennedy and the Coca-Cola lawyer:
Justice Kennedy: “If Coca-Cola stands behind this label as being fair to consumers, then I think you have a very difficult case to make. I think it’s relevant for us to ask whether people are cheated in buying this product.”
Coca-Cola’s Lawyer: “We don’t think that consumers are quite as unintelligent as Pom must think they are. They know when something is a flavored blend of five juices and the nonpredominant juices are just a flavor.”
Justice Kennedy: “Don’t make me feel bad, because I thought that this was pomegranate juice.”
Although comments during oral arguments before the Court do not necessarily indicate the likely outcome, at a minimum the Pom Wonderful case raises very important labeling issues.
For Kona coffee growers, this case is of particular interest. The Honolulu 10% Blenders contend that if their “Kona Blend” labels comply with the requirements of Hawaii’s coffee labeling laws, then they are not subject to damage claims even if consumers are deceived. Depending on how the Supreme Court decides this case, the Blenders’ contention may be called into question.
A written decision is likely to be issued by the Court in the next few weeks. For further details, see the New York Times article on the case:
—Submitted by the Branding Committee
Prior to the public hearing held in Kona on October 10, 2013, KCFA sent the HDOA a written statement of 9 specific changes to the proposed amendments that would reduce the adverse impacts on farmers. At the October 10 hearing a number of KCFA members gave testimony asking that these items of concern be addressed in further discussions between HDOA and the KCFA.
Following the October hearing, the HDOA failed to include the KCFA and KCFA members in the rulemaking process in any way. Despite repeated requests, the HDOA failed to provide KCFA with any advanced notice of consideration of the Coffee Standards amendments by the Board of Agriculture on February 24, 2014.
The HDOA also failed to give to the KCFA, and to small scale Kona coffee farmers, any notice of the review of the amendments by the Small Business Regulatory Review Board (SBRRB) meeting on March 19, 2014. This SBRRB meeting was required by State law which provides that agencies (like the HDOA) adopting or changing administrative rules must present evidence to the SBRRB that the agency has determined (1) whether there would be adverse effects on small businesses (like small coffee farmers); and (2) if so, whether less restrictive alternatives could be implemented. Without the presence of farmers at the March 19 SBRRB meeting, the HDOA mischaracterized and/or failed to mention important suggestions that KCFA had presented in October.
After learning about the March 19 SBRRB meeting, KCFA President Cecelia Smith sent a written communication to the SBRRB requesting that it re-open the Coffee Standards issues so that the adverse impacts and less restrictive alternatives suggested by small coffee farmers could be adequately considered. The SBRRB granted this request and scheduled a “re-review” of the Coffee Standards amendments for its May 21, 2014 meeting—and granted KCFA’s requests to send representatives to participate in that meeting. The scheduling of the “re-review” indicates, at a minimum, substantial concern on the part of SBRRB as to the HDOA procedures and actions.
At the May 21 SBRRB meeting in Honolulu, KCFA members Colehour Bondera and Joachim Oster gave testimony as to the adverse effects on farmers and less restrictive alternatives that had been ignored by HDOA’s presentations at the prior meeting. The Board members thanked Colehour and Joachim for their participation and indicated that the SBRRB would be amending its procedures to encourage direct input from small businesses on future proposed administrative rules changes.
Surprisingly and apparently as the result of communications from the HDOA, Jim Wayman and Roger Kaiwi (both employees of the Hawaii Coffee Company/Paradise Beverages/Topa Enterprises corporate conglomerate), together with 6 other allied individuals, showed up at the meeting and asked that amendments be left as drafted by the HDOA–without addressing KCFA’s suggestions for minimizing the adverse impacts on small coffee farms.
The SBRRB’s determination with respect to its “re-review” of the proposed Coffee Standards amendments has not yet been issued.
To review the KCFA request to the SBRRB for “re-opening” and the attached statement of issues– CLICK HERE: https://konacoffeefarmers.org/kcfa-business/kcfa-request-to-the-sbrrb-for-re-opening-and-the-attached-statements-of-issues/
–Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Throw that Fertilizer Now
If you haven’t already- Time To Fertilize. Ground is nice and wet and ready to absorb.
FYI- the series of numbers is the percentage of (N) Nitrogen-(P) Phosphorus-(K) Potassium in the mixture.
Fertilizer marked for example, 11-5-25 or 10-5-20 is specifically formulated for our coffee and has added minor elements- all essential for healthy growth. If the middle number in the formula -phosphorous- is too high (recommended is 5%), beware, the phosphorous will eventually bind and accumulate in the soil and over time will become toxic. That’s why the recommendation for (P) Phosphorous is 5%.
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith
KCFA/Bb Grant Contract Coming Soon
Once you have attended a KCFA/Bb Grant sanctioned Educational Workshop you will then be able to go to the KCFA Grant Workshop web page and get your Voucher. KCFA Members will be emailed complete information in advance of the June 11th Workshop.
Rules for Eligibility-KCFA/Bb Grant
2. I will provide my Tax Map Key (TMK) number.
3. I must attend one KCFA/Bb Grant sanctioned Educational Workshop before applying for the necessary Voucher <.Wednesday, June 11 from 3-5pm and on Saturday, June 14 from 1-3pm at the CTAHR building in Kainaliu>
4. I understand that within this program, I can buy a maximum of two gallons of Mycotrol or Botanigard – (estimated at 1 quart/acre) – per voucher per month.
5. I agree to pay Farm & Garden 50% of cost, plus applicable tax, upon receipt.
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera
Symptoms and Signs of Coffee Rust
Although there has been no sign of coffee rust in Hawaii, it is important that all coffee
farmers are aware of the problem and be alert to the signs. The following is taken fromhttp://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/Basidiomycetes/Pages/CoffeeRust.aspx Additional information can be found at the link.
Infections occur on the coffee leaves. The first observable symptoms are small, pale yellow spots on the upper surfaces of the leaves (Figure 3). As these spots gradually increase in diameter, masses of orange urediniospores (= uredospores) appear on the undersurfaces (Figure 4). The fungus sporulates through the stomata rather than breaking through the epidermis as most rusts do, so it does not form the pustules typical of many rusts (Figure 5). The powdery lesions on the undersides of the leaves can be orange-yellow to red-orange in color, and there is considerable variation from one region to another.
Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5
While the lesions can develop anywhere on the leaf, they tend to be concentrated around the margins, where dew and rain droplets collect (Figure 6). The centers of the spots eventually dry and turn brown, while the margins of the lesions continue to expand and produce urediniospores. Early in the season, the first lesions usually appear on the lowermost leaves, and the infection slowly progresses upward in the tree. The infected leaves drop prematurely, leaving long expanses of twigs devoid of leaves (Figure 7).
Figure 6 Figure 7
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher
Letter by a KCFA Member
The following is a letter from member Hans Eckert to Leonardo Lombardini, Texas A&M coffee researcher.
I have with renewed alarm and hope read the recent article by Ms. Jalonick (AP) – syndicated in our local West Hawaii Today, 5/19/14.
Lots of things to say about her understanding of coffee, but that’s not my point. I am hoping that your research – US funded – will help Hawaii coffee farmers THIS TIME to stop a deadly pest before it wipes us out. There are 800 Kona Coffee Farms, 1000 in ALL of Hawaii, and Kona, as I am sure you know, produces one of the best coffees in the world. Our family farms are small (average only 2.5 acres, not counting a dozen corporate farms – 50-150 acres), and farmers can rarely make a living off their coffee alone. I work over 50 hrs. p. week, took my first vacation in 10 years last year, and my wife earns money as a software developer. I am Certified Organic (only about 40 farms are), and I am an Estate (single farm origin, from “seed to cup”). My coffee union is KCFA, Kona Coffee Farmers Association. We have, for over 4 years now, been fighting the horribly destructive CBB, Coffee Berry Borer. That beast came officially to our Kona region in November 2010. We are absolutely convinced that it came over in green coffee beans, imported from Latin America. We have a couple of very large and powerful “Blenders”, who have lobbied into State regulations the permission to import green coffee into a coffee GROWING region. That, to my knowledge, is unique among coffee growing countries. The 10% coffee is pretty crappy, but makes the blenders tons of money.
About CBB fighting costs:
I have a “mid-size” Kona Coffee orchard of 8 acres (3200 trees). I have now to spend anadditional $3.2 K p.a. on Bossiana Bovaria fungus and other bio-counter measures. If Coffee Rust comes into Hawaii (courtesy blenders or not), we will be threatened in our existence.
Work hard for us, work fast: You may be our only hope!
With Best Regards and Cordial Aloha!
Dr. Hans F. Eckert, owner/operator
Coffee for APAC Tickets
KCFA members can get two free tickets to a performance at the Aloha Theatre by providing about 3 pounds of coffee to the theatre. Free advertising in the performance brochure and on the refreshment counter for the entire run of that presentation are additional perks. This is a good way to have our community enjoy 100% Kona coffee and for KCFA to support an enterprise that serves only 100% Kona. The rest of the season includes “Waiting for Godot” in June, and “Annie Jr.” in July. If you don’t enjoy theatre or can’t make a showing, 2 tickets will make a great gift that someone will appreciate. If you would like to take part in this worthwhile opportunity contact Tom Butler, at [email protected]
–Submitted by Tom Butler
Kona Coffee Rubbed Salmon Tacos
Adapted from Food52.com FiveandSpice
- 2 pounds of salmon fillets, skin on, center cut, about an inch thick
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground Kona coffee
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8-12 small tortillas, corn or flour – your preference
- red cabbage mix – see below
- avocado-tomatillo salsa – see below
- Pat your salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl mix together all of the seasonings (coffee through black pepper). Then, stir in the olive oil. Use a brush to brush this spice mixture all over the tops of the salmon fillets.
- Grill the salmon fillets skin side down on a well-oiled hot grill and cook just until it flakes easily with a fork (the timing will depend a lot on your particular cuts of fish, mine took about 8 minutes). Alternatively, you can broil the salmon just until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from the heat.
- Use a spatula to lift the salmon pieces off of their skins and onto a serving platter. Break them into chunks.
- Quickly warm your tortillas. Then, serve the salmon in the tortillas topped with the avocado salsa and cabbage. (It’s easiest to just let everyone assemble their own.) Just add some cervezas or margaritas and dinner is complete!
Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa & Red Cabbage Mix
- 2 tomatillos, husks removed
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed (unless you want some extra heat) and diced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. chopped cilantro, divided
- 1 lime, juiced, divided
- 1 ripe avocado
- 5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- sea salt
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the tomatillos. Simmer about 3 minutes – they’ll turn sort of olive green. Remove from the water and allow to cool for a little bit. Then, chop them up.
- In a food processor, process together the tomatillo, onion, jalapeno, 1 Tbs. cilantro, and half of the lime juice, until fairly smooth. Then, pulse in the avocado – you can process it in until you have a smooth sauce or leave it a little chunky, depending on your preference. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
- Toss together the sliced red cabbage with the remaining lime juice and cilantro. Sprinkle with a little salt (1/4 tsp. or so) and mix well.
- Serve the avocado-tomatillo salsa and the cabbage to accompany the fish in the tacos.
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher