DNR = Did Not Respond
QUESTION: If elected, will you affirmatively work to put an end to the misuse of the Kona name on packages containing 90% foreign-grown coffee? If yes, what do you commit to do?________________________________________________
In the US Senate, I will continue to push for truth-in-labeling for Kona coffee and other Hawaii products. I have supported legislation of this kind since my days in the state legislature.
During my terms as Governor, the State Dept. of Agriculture worked with the Kona coffee growers to develop a solution to the proper labeling of blended and non-blended grinds. I believe a labeling consensus should be industry-driven, ensuring thatconsumers are properly informed about the content and origin of the beans. My team in the Dept. of Agriculture initiated the Buy Local, It Matters and the Seals of Quality programs to better inform consumers about agricultural products grown in our state. As a U.S. Senator, I would be in a position to work with other Senators that share a common interest in protecting the reputation and brand of products grown and made in the U.S. Additionally; I would also address the issue of mislabeling of products as having a Hawaii origin through international trade discussions, i.e. Australian macadamia nuts sold in China as Hawaii macadamia nuts or Thai papaya sold as Hawaii papaya.
US REPRESENTATIVE, District 2
DNR Matthew DiGeronimo
I support truth in labeling and requirements to increase the minimum percentage for the use of the Kona coffee name. Im also offering to coordinate a working group to bring all the stake holders together to work towards an acceptable agreement.
HAWAII COUNTY MAYOR
Yes. I support truth in labeling, and advocate the use of the word “Kona” only on 100 percent Kona coffee. The Kona Coffee brand is too important and valuable for us to allow it to be placed on anything but 100 percent Kona coffee. I will be happy to submit letters of support to the Legislature to accomplish this goal.
I will work with the legislature to protect Kona’s special coffee.
STATE SENATE, District 3
I have demonstrated my commitment on this matter by submitting the legislation as your Senator.
Strengthen the law to protect the appellation name. Replace 486-120.6 my predecessors voted for.
STATE SENATE, District 4
DNR Kelly Greenwell
Continue to support through Legislation
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, District 5
I sell only 100% Kona Coffee off my farm. I support Kona Blends per the existing law (HRS 486-120.6). However, I would like to see the gradual increase in the 10% minimum content to 50% as directed in SCR 102. I was directly involved in drafting SCR 102, passed in 2007, which called for a gradual increase conditioned upon a valid independent impact assessment. I continue to support SCR 102 and would like to see the independent study implemented and funded by the State Legislature. I shall press for this if elected. I do not agree with the Feldman report, its assumptions, methodology or conclusions.
Law affects all geographic origin. I have already passed Legislation to improve our truth-in-labeling. We can do more, but in small steps.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, District 6
DNR Kalei Akaka
DNR Bucky Leslie
I would support enacting truth-in-labeling legislation and reserving the Kona Coffee label for 100% Kona Coffee.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, District 7
I have and will continue to support efforts to increase percentage of Kona coffee. Based on years of discussion, I think we should try for 50 % actual Kona coffee in order to use the name and determine its impact on the sales of Kona green beans. This could move the issue forward and help us determine the impact on sales of coffee from Hawaii.
COUNTY COUNCIL, District 6
I support truth in labeling.
Re-issue legislation to HSAC and Legislature to require truth in labeling, country of origin labeling, and branding of Hawaii-grown products.
COUNTY COUNCIL, District 7
Dru Mamo Kanuha.YES
Supporting the farmers and making sure the State knows of their concern.
COUNTY COUNCIL, District 8
I will support legislation for truth in labeling.
HAWAII COUNTY PROSECUTOR
I believe legislators and law-makers (like Council members) are better able to address this problem. It may be unethical for an elected prosecutor to utilize his/her position unless they are placed on a board or committee with the authority to make such recommendations (Section 2-83 Hawaii County Code, as amended).
Coffee is the only product in Hawaii that competes internationally at the top level. We need to do all we can to protect it.