Some Kona coffee farmers are suing Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and others of violating federal law by selling ordinary coffee under the name “Kona.”
The case was filed Wednesday, February 27, 2019, in federal court in Seattle as class-action litigation intended to benefit the estimated 600 to 1,000 growers of Kona coffee on the Big Island.
By using the name on other coffee, the farmers say, the retailers have violated the federal Lanham Act and its ban on false designations of origin.
“The term ‘Kona’ tells consumers their coffee comes from this distinctive geographic region,” the farmers wrote. “Defendants’ deceptive practices have flooded the market with counterfeit ‘Kona’ coffee products, injuring honest Kona farmers.”