Categorized | Agriculture

KCFA calls for boycott over deceptive labeling at Safeway

MEDIA RELEASE

By a resolution passed this week, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association is calling for a nationwide boycott of all Safeway stores in response to Safeway’s total disregard of concerns about the sale of deceptively labeled “Safeway Select Kona Blend.”

Safeway’s mainland stores are selling coffee labeled as “Safeway Select Kona Blend,” complete with a label that reads “Revel in the unmatched taste of savory beans from Hawaii’s Big Island.”

The package sells for one-quarter the price of genuine Kona coffee as sold by Peet’s and Starbucks, and Safeway has freely admitted the coffee they sell contains only “some” Kona coffee and they decline to say what percentage is genuine or what the origin of the fake beans is.

At KFCAs request, in April, Chairman Russell Kokubun of the state Department of Agriculture sent Safeway a letter to “strongly urge voluntary compliance with our coffee labeling laws.” More than three months later, Safeway has yet to respond to Kokubun’s letter.

KCFA president Colehour Bondera said, “Safeway’s deceptive labeling amounts to consumer fraud, damaging the economic interests of Kona coffee farmers and harming the historic reputation of one of Hawaii’s premier agricultural products.”

Bruce Corker, chairman of the KCFA Legislative Committee, said “KFCA is calling on customers in Hawaii and on the mainland to boycott Safeway stores until Safeway accurately labels its coffee.”

He further explained, “KCFA has no problem with retailers mixing coffee origins to make whatever blend they think their customers will enjoy. But those mixtures should be accurately labeled so as not to mislead customers.”

KCFA has, since its inception, held the view that deceptively labeled blends damage the reputation of Kona coffee by misleading consumers into drinking an inferior product that they then associate with the Kona name, leading to a loss of perceived value, and actual value for Kona coffee farmers.

KCFA maintains 100% Kona coffee is one of Hawaii’s premier agricultural products of which the state is very proud. Safeway is perpetuating damaging exploitation of the Kona coffee reputation, and needs to be persuaded to change the labeling of its “Safeway Select Kona Blend” to prominently disclose the percentage of Kona-grown coffee and the origin of the non-Kona coffee in the package.

Additional information on the Kona coffee blend law and the economic impact of blending is available at www.konacoffeefarmers.org

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is a volunteer, non-profit, community-based organization of coffee farmers with the mission to promote and protect the economic interests of Kona coffee farmers who grow and sell 100% Kona coffee and to seek greater legal protection of the Kona coffee name.

3 Responses to “KCFA calls for boycott over deceptive labeling at Safeway”

  1. kopepua says:

    Thank you Karin and hawaii247.com! More Information and commentary is available here:
    http://www.konacoffeefarmers.org/Safeway%20Boycott.asp

  2. Joachim says:

    Right on, finally some action to protect our Hawaiian good names! That’s where the money is and that’s what is being pilfered left and right by mainland corporations. Our politicians do much talk about ‘value added’ agriculture but then neglect to protect the regional names our state owns. Without protection, any promotion is money wasted.

  3. Kat says:

    With a Safeway in Kona, you would think they would at least comply! After all coffee made Kona.

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