Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, USA — August 19, 2016 — Slow Food USA has just added Pure Kona Coffee to the Ark of Taste, a catalog of distinctive foods facing extinction. Known for its “delicate, subtle and sometimes extraordinary” taste, Pure Kona Coffee is grown exclusively in North and South Kona districts on the island of Hawai’i.
The “Kona Coffee Belt” presently contains over 650 independent coffee farms. These farms use sustainable cultivation methods that produce highly-prized coffee without the involvement of industrial agribusinesses. But deceptive labeling practices have put Pure Kona Coffee at risk of extinction. Every year, millions of pounds of “Kona Blends” are sold to consumers, containing up to 90% foreign-grown coffee. This labeling undermines the economic future of the coffee farmers, and dilutes the rich flavor of Pure Kona Coffee.
Through the Ark of Taste, Slow Food USA is protecting biodiversity and preserving the collective heritage of foodways, along with the stories and cultures of communities. The catalog features over 3500 unique products that are biologically, commercially or culturally endangered.
“When a food starts to disappear, the next thing to disappear is the language, and then the culture itself,” says Megan Larmer, Director of Strategy & Community Engagement at Slow Food USA. “The Ark of Taste recognizes not only the genetic material as valuable, but also the intangible, cultural heritage.”
For more information, visit slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/pure-kona-coffee and konacoffeefarmers.org.
Director of Communications & Campaigns, Slow Food USA
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President, Kona Coffee Farmers Association
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