The testimony on legislation to protect Hawaiian crops and in particular Kona coffee included the testimony of the President of either the Honolulu Hotel and/or Restaurant Association. According to him we should leave the 10% Blend Law as is because it is working just fine and everyone is happy with it except for a few disgruntled people who try to change it every year. He has a short sighted view in our opinion.
In a Honolulu hotel this week it was the same old story. A splashy package of 2 oz. coffee with Hawaii written all over in word and picture but no source for the coffee itself. It wasn't a Kona Blend but it was packaged in Hawaii. The packaging was pretty but the taste was marginal.
The hotel restaurant had the same snow job. You had to ask to find out if "Kona" was a Kona Blend and at $3 a cup I figure it for about a 12 times markup. I also figured that if they charged $4 for a real cup of coffee it would be about a 8 times markup.
You know this is what we are up against and we aren't getting any help in either the Honolulu government or big business circles.
KCFA has increased its budget for Public Relations in 2015 but it is still tiny. We want to concentrate more on public awareness and maybe we can get some consideration there, but we need people power on the front lines. We need for our members to help us to get the recognition we need to protect our heritage crop. Its the only way we can continue in the life style we want to preserve.
We need you to step up and lend a hand for a two year commitment of 12 meetings a year and some irregular hard work. Hard work has its reward.
A current example was the Coffee and Art Stroll on November 7. The hard work of some KCFA members and board directors resulted in what one critic said was a "smashing success" and many commented it was the best ever. 2500 people strolled through Holualoa and KCFA had a big part in its success.
We need others to share the responsibility of growing a meaningful association of farmers in our community. We need four new directors to step up and help. Contact Tom, Bruce, Cea or Chris at info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org (or call Tom at 328-9031) to find out what you can do.