The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association
PO Box 5436, Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA
HCA and KCFA Agree
KCFA Annual General Membership Meeting
Real Property Tax Review Report
Coffee and Alzheimer’s
Oxygen is the Enemy
Market Development Workshop
Hawaii Trade Expansion Program
Editor - Clare Wilson
HCA and KCFA Working Together!
We are pleased to report that the Hawaii Coffee Association board has voted in favor of changing the blend law from 10% to 51%. This is a big move forward, but not the end of our fight.
As we approach a busy legislative season, the KCFA will need your support more than ever. As we push to increase the blend ratio, we know our opponents will double down on efforts to block blend reform and will use their employees as proxies to fight against us. They will continue to claim it will hurt you, the farmers. We disagree, and believe the laws of supply and demand will lead to an increase the value of your Kona. However, the legislators will need to hear this from you directly. Please get ready to submit favorable testimony on behalf of 51%
Submitted by Suzanne Shriner
2020 Annual General Membership Meeting
Notice to KCFA Members
Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of Directors will be Sunday, January 26 at the Honaunau Rodeo Grounds, beginning at 11:00 am. This will be a potluck luncheon followed by our AGM business meeting. All KCFA members are encouraged to attend, socialize, and vote.
On the agenda is a Bylaw change. Because of timing, the board has not yet voted on whether they support or oppose this change. The current Bylaws (login first to view here) technically allow non-voting members (non-farmers) to serve on the board. The proposed change removes that:
Section 2: Nonvoting Members
2. 1. Associate Members: Individuals who support 100% Kona coffee and the objectives of the KCFA. Associate members may be located in any state or region of the world. Associate members may attend all meetings and may participate in events of the organization. Associate members may not hold office serve on the Board of Directors.
2. 2. Supporting Members Individuals and Organizations that support 100% Kona coffee and the objectives of KCFA may join as a Supporting Members. Supporting members may be located in any state or region of the world. Supporting members may attend all meetings and may participate in events of the organization. Supporting members may hold office serve on the Board of Directors.
2. 3. Honorary Members Individual and organizations that contribute to the objectives of KCFA may be awarded Honorary Memberships, in recognition of their contributions. Honorary Members may not hold office serve on the Board of Directors.
Real Property Tax Review Report
Very Important – please read.
The Final Report to the Hawaii County Council from the Real Property Tax Review Working Group and Agricultural Committee was delivered to the County Council on October 31, 2019. Within it are recommended changes to the County Code which will have serious consequences for small farmers in the Non-Dedicated AG use program.
The report (PDF here) is worth reading in its entirety, but in particular KCFA members need to be aware of the recommended changes outlined on page 8 item 3. The proposal is to replace the assessed value of an acre of AG land in orchard within the Non-Dedicated program from its current rate of $3000 per acre (twice the Dedicated rate of $1500) with an assessed value equivalent to 30% of the Fair Market Value of the property. This will lead to a property tax increase of 400% or more.
For example, a 5 acre coffee farm in the Non-Dedicated AG use program would have an assessed value of $15,000. The tax rate is currently $9.35 per $1000 of assessed value, or $140.25. With the proposed changes it would be substantially more.
If your property is in South Kona with no County water, perhaps the Fair Market Value for 5 acres would be $200,000. Take 30% of that, and you have an assessed value of $60,000. Multiply that by the current tax rate and you get $561 -- a 400% increase. If your property is in North Kona with a Fair Market Value of $400,000 for 5 acres with County water you will be looking at an assessed value of $120,000 and an increase in your property tax to $1122, an 800% increase.
These changes, if adopted by the County Council by June 30, 2020, would take effect in the following fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. The interests of small farmers were not represented in the Working Group or the Agriculture Committee. These groups met over a period of two years and their members are listed on page 9 of the report. The proposed recommendation which serves the interests of these members can be seen in item 9 on the same page, where large landowners with property in the Dedicated pasture program will receive a huge tax break.
--Submitted by Diane Keffer
Aloha members and friends of KCFA.
Now that we've entered the New Year, organizing for the 2020 Kona Coffee and Small Farms Expo is going into high gear. We've engaged Aesha Rose again to coordinate the event and have begun casting out our net for sponsors and contacting potential vendors/presenters for our Expo which will be held on May 10th.
As we reported last month, we've expanded our focus to include small farms engaged in activities beyond just growing the finest coffee in the world.
And you can help. Please forward any suggestions you may have for potential sponsors, subject areas to explore and potential vendors/presenters to our coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ally Brown at 808-796-1340.
We look forward to seeing you at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, January 26th at a new location, the Honaunau Rodeo grounds which will also be the site of the 2020 Expo and can describe our vision for this year's event. We will also have a sheet there to sign up volunteers for the Expo.
--Submitted by Chet Gardiner
Legislative Committee members continue work with KCFA political consultant, former State Senator Gary Hooser, on advancing KCFA’s objectives for the 2020 Legislative Session. Through December we have met and are working with State Representatives Creagan, Lowen and Tarnas and State Senator Kanuha.
On December 6 Honolulu Civil Beat published our op/ed article entitled “Hawaii Coffee Blend Law Deceives Consumers”.
In a significant development, the Hawaii Coffee Association board reversed prior positions and voted to support a 51% minimum for Hawaii Coffee blends.
The Legislative Committee continues outreach to other coffee farmer and agriculture organizations for support of the 2020 KCFA objectives.
Thank you to the following KCFA members who made contributions to the special “Legislative Efforts” fund during the month of December:
—Submitted by the Legislative Committee
Coffee and Alzheimer’s
More than 2 cups of coffee a day reduces Alzheimer’s risk to a third, says study
December 30, 2019
SEOUL, South Korea – People who drink at least two cups of coffee a day are less likely to suffer Alzheimer ‘s disease, according to a new study led by a joint research team from Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital and Seoul National University College of Medicine, in South Korea. Researchers unveiled the results of their joint study on over 400 adults aged 55 to 90 on Sunday.
In 2017, the research team compared the positron emission tomography images of 269 South Korean participants aged 55 to 90 who consume at least two cups of coffee every day and 142 subjects who do not…
Read entire article here: https://www.comunicaffe.com/more-than-2-cups-of-coffee-a-day-reduces-alzheimer-risk-to-a-third-says-study/
--Submitted by Cecelia Smith
Oxygen is the Enemy
The Best Way to Keep Coffee Fresh Is Secretly the Easiest
… “There isn’t a perfect, catch-all way to describe how long coffee is going to be good for, really, because there are far too many variables to consider. But we do know the primary causes of coffee going stale,” Giuliano said. Here’s what you need to know about keeping coffee fresher for longer, according to experts…”
Read entire article here: https://gearpatrol.com/2019/12/27/how-to-keep-coffee-fresh/
--Submitted by Cecelia Smith
Market Development Workshop - Dept of Ag
Register to attend the HDOA Market Development Branch January 2020 Grants Roadshow -- learn about grant programs, NASS, Seal of Quality, Made in Hawaii with Aloha, trade shows, WUSATA, and the Hawaii Agriculture and Food Products Database -- registration required, email email@example.com
Hope your schedule allows you to attend and learn about the HDOA Market Development Branch programs. We are looking forward to meeting you! (see dates and times here)
Market Development Branch
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program
HiSTEP Launches for 2020!
Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program, known as HiSTEP, is a comprehensive program designed to assist Hawaii small businesses with their export development. The goal is to increase the number of small businesses that want to export as well as the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export. Today it is easier than ever for companies, regardless of size, to sell goods and services across the globe and this program can help achieve that.
Register for the HiSTEP program to make sure you're set up for exporting success in 2020.
Are you new to exporting? Be sure to review the Exporting Checklist and Assessment to clearly understand where you are and how to grow your business through global exporting opportunities.
For additional help, you can view HiSTEP seminars from previous years on our Resources page.
--Submitted by Suzanne Shriner
Recipes Wanted! If any of you have coffee recipes that you would like to share, please submit them to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write to us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name and email address >> Email: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.