Preserving the Integrity and Future of Hawaii-Grown Coffee

Hawaii’s coffee industry, a beloved treasure of the state, faces challenges that threaten its integrity and future. A bill is advancing through the State legislature to establish a timeline by which coffee sold as “Hawaii-grown” must contain at least 50% of actual Hawaii-grown coffee. Tom Greenwell and Bill Dwyer, coffee farmers on Hawaii Island for over 30 years, believe it is vital to safeguard the future of Hawaii’s coffee and farming in the Islands.

The consumers are confused about the 10% blend in coffee, as they don’t see the Hawaiian coffee and buy it because it is cheaper. Farmers continue to educate consumers about 100% Kona coffee at their two retail outlets in Kona and on Oahu. A pound of pure Kona Coffee ranges from $52 to $85, but a cup of pure Kona coffee only costs about $1.30.

A Department of Agriculture study shows that increasing the blend ratio to at least 50% would increase income to the 1,500 small coffee farms in Hawaii that are only marginally profitable under the current law. Blenders that buy foreign coffee and import it to the state, then represent it as Hawaii origin, sell it for $2 a pound more or less than they buy it for $20 something.

House Bill 2298 will be heard Wednesday at 9 a.m. before the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee. The goal is to protect the name for the future of Hawaii’s coffee and ensure that coffee farmers can make a living.

Read More @ KITV

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