Categorized | Agriculture

From the Kona Coffee Farmers Association newsletter

The following items were included in the June issue of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association newsletter ‘The Independent Voice’:

Hawaii Farmers Union Group Starts
Contributed by Colehour Bondera

The Hawaii chapter of the national organization the Farmers Union is in formation, and I have become involved since there really is not a State level organization that looks out for all (especially for us small-scale) farmers on an equal basis and seeks to ensure that we are listened to at the legislative and broader community levels. A farmer in Honokaa has initiated the organization of the State chapter.

National Farmers Union (NFU) was founded in 1902 in Point, Texas, to help the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices. NFU has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

Overall, the NFU sees cooperation, education, and legislation as the appropriate foci. You can see the website for your own reflection, at www.nfu.org The Hawaii group has a website at www.hawaiifarmersunion.org

Coffee Revenue Down 13 Percent
From the National Agricultural Statistics Service March 2010 Report

The latest report from NASS no longer breaks down the coffee statistics by Hawaii Island and all-other-regions as it has done in the past. The figures are now given for State-wide production only.

However one trend is very clear, the price that farmers receive has steadily trended downwards since 2005, when the price per pound by NASS measurements was $4.55, while farmers’ costs have trended upwards.

More proof that the big processors, with their tight control over the cherry price they pay, and the big blenders who are devaluing the Kona coffee name with their Kona coffee knock-offs, are no friend to the Kona coffee farmer.

Kona Mocha Cookies Stand Proud
Contributed by Dexter Washburn

On a recent trip to the mainland, Alaska Airlines, following its usual practice, distributed individually wrapped cookies. The cookies were identified as “Kona Mocha Chocolate Chip” from Cougar Mountain Baking Company, of Seattle, Wash.

Bruce Corker, our observant KCFA president, carefully saved the wrapper with its contact information and shortly after arriving at his destination called Cougar Mountain.

He spoke with founder, president and CEO David Saulnier and asked “Is your Kona Mocha cookie made with 100% Kona coffee?” Saulnier replied that he had no idea, but he would find out and call right back. When he called back he reported the cookies were made with a “Kona Blend”.

Corker recognized the teaching moment. At the conclusion of the lesson Saulnier asked where he could get some 100% Kona coffee in Seattle. “Why, right from the farmer,” Corker said.

Corker’s next call was to me as he was aware that I had shipped 1,800 pounds of green coffee to Seattle and still had a supply on hand. I called Saulnier. Virginia and I paid a visit to the home of Cougar Mountain Gourmet Cookies where an introductory exchange of gourmet cookies for gourmet coffee was made. We took back an order for Hawaiian Hawk 100% Kona Coffee suitable for flavoring cookies.

What was particularly impressive about Saulnier and his wonderful cookie factory was his absolute dedication to using only the best ingredients in Cougar Mountain cookies.

Once he learned the difference between a “Kona Blend” and the real thing there was no question what Saulnier would do. It was a matter of integrity and ethics – if you call it “Kona” it has to be 100% Kona.

The KCFA applauds Cougar Mountain – they are a shining example to other companies in the food and beverage industry. Take note Jack In The Box, your glaring lack of integrity is smearing your reputation.

— Find out more:
www.konacoffeefarmers.org

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