Testimony needed now to protect brand integrity for all Hawaii grown coffee

Aloha Friends, Family, and Supporters of Hawaii Grown Coffee – on all islands,

Urgent Action Alert – Your testimony is needed now to protect brand integrity for coffee grown on all islands.  Read background on the issue HERE The battle to preserve brand integrity and another excellent article printed in Civil Beat HERE Hawaii’s coffee blend law deceives consumers (Civil Beat)

Please help today (and no later than Tuesday at 4pm, January 28th) and submit testimony in support of HB1886 Relating to Coffee Labeling. This bill states that coffee cannot be labeled and sold in Hawai’i as a Hawaii Coffee Blend (or identified as any regional coffee – Kona or otherwise – grown in Hawai’i) – unless at least 51% of the coffee in the package is actually grown in the region specified on the label.

Further, HB1886 requires that the “non-Hawai’i grown” coffee also
be identified on the label so consumers are fully informed as to the product they are purchasing.

The hearing agenda and testimony instructions (scroll down) are contained within Hearing Notice that is linked HERE.  You may also read the bills etc on this link.

Please sign-in to submit testimony via the capitol testimony portal accessed via the hearing notice (best option), or email your testimony direct to AGRtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

*There are 4 bills relating to coffee that are on the agenda.  While HB1886 is the top priority, all are important.  If you are familiar with the issues, please also submit separate testimony in support of these other items.  All can be reviewed in detail on the Hearing Notice.

The hearing for HB1886 is scheduled for 8:30am Wednesday, January 29th, and testimony is due no later than 4pm Tuesday, January 28th.

It is okay to keep it very short; submitting any amount of testimony is better than nothing.  See sample testimony below.

Thank you for your time and willingness to help create positive change for our Hawai’i Farmers.

Note: It is important to put: “Testimony in strong support of HB1886” in the subject line.
*************************************************************

Sample Testimony 

Please use your own words and tell your own story if possible, and paraphrase at the minimum.  Do not simply cut and paste.

Dear Committee Chair Creagan and Members,

I am a (farmer, consumer, resident) and reside in (list your district – Kona, Kapaa, etc) testifying in strong support of HB1886 – Relating to Coffee Labeling. The current law says that blended coffee can be labeled “Kona Blend, Ka’u Blend, Maui Blend, Kauai Blend, Hilo Blend, etc” even if it has as little as 10% of the actual coffee grown in that region in it. The rest can be no-name coffee from anywhere around the world. The new law would require at least 51% of the coffee used be from the named region and the remainder of the coffee origin/origins be identified.

The reasons this is important are:

1. Misleading labeling is fraudulent – consumers should be able to trust the labeling.

2. Use of the name without requiring the content exploits the region and deprives farmers of income.

3. Low quality coffee is being sold under a prestigious name and results in lowering standards and damaging the brand.

The blenders, many owned by large mainland companies, strongly oppose this change because they are making a fortune selling cheap low-quality coffee as “Kona” or Ka’u” to unsuspecting customers. This would never be allowed for California Wine, Kentucky Bourbon, Idaho potatoes, Georgia peaches, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, or any number of products worldwide.

Hawai’i needs to step up and protect the brand integrity of its premier coffee brands that are grown throughout the islands. Thank you for your positive consideration and passage of HB1886.

Mahalo,

Name,
“who you are – farmer, coffee lover, business owner etc),
Town/District
**********************************************************************
Remember – All Hawaii Coffee Farmers Benfit From Passing a 51% Minimum Requirement for Blends!

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve now as a volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am also currently the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In a past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my web site AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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