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Hawaii Coffee Farmers Question Supermarket Kona

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.

Kona Coffee bagsAccording 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




1 Comment


HAving a regional name associated with a great product leads automatically to abuse. Ask how many times the Kentucky state had to fight “Kentucky Bourbon” coming from somewhere but KY. Or “Idaho Potatoes” from anywhere guessed it, Idaho. Geographic regional fame is free money in the eyes of businesses, but in Kona’s case there are nearly 200 years of heritage, sweat, promotion and advertising dollars invested.

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