An association of Hawaii Kona coffee farmers are banding together to challenge the Safeway Corporation, after one farmer discovered a pound of Safeway brand Kona coffee selling for $8.99 in a California supermarket.
According to a recent Maui News report, farmer Paul Uster came across the bag of coffee while vacationing and noticed that it didn’t specify how what percentage of the Kona blend was actually grown in Hawaii, which is a legal requirement for coffee grown in the Aloha State.
“It degrades the reputation and the quality of Kona coffee. When consumers are not informed it makes it harder for me to make a living,” Uster, a member of the board of directors of the Kona Farmers Association told the paper. “Kona and other Hawaiian coffees are a great treasure to the state.”
With the backing of Hawaii’s department of agriculture, Uster and others formed an association to question Safeway about the blend, and a company spokesperson recently said its response letter was lost in the internal Safeway mail system. Hawaii began regulating the identification of Kona coffee in the 1990s, when several companies were marketing Latin American coffee as “pure Kona.”
For the full story: Maui News