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Hawaii Coffee Association Annual Conference to Tackle Leaf Rust in June


2017 file photo, courtesy of the Hawaii Coffee Association.

Following a year characterized by disease outbreaks affecting both humans and plants, the Hawaii Coffee Association is preparing to host its 2021 conference online.

Corresponding with the two-day event, taking place June 24-25, will be the finale of the Association’s 12th statewide cupping competition, including an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. local time on June 25.

The online conference will be free to attend for HCA members and non-members alike. The cupping competition entry deadline is Friday, May 21.

As a state, Hawaii has been up to its nostrils in epidemiological issues over the past year, dealing with both quarantines of humans and agricultural matter to help halt the spread of the novel coronavirus and coffee leaf rust, respectively.

The latter was found on the Hawaiian islands for the first time ever in the Haiku area of Maui in October. Two weeks later, the crop-killing fungus was discovered on the big island of Hawaii.

Related Reading

Winners from the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 11th Annual Cupping Competition
The Lasting Impact of Coffee Leaf Rust: Past, Present and Future in the Fight Against Fungus
Coffee Leaf Rust Spreads to the Big Island of Hawaii

“2020 was the year of COVID and coffee leaf rust,” HCA President Chris Manfredi said in a recent announcement of the 2021 online meeting. “2021 represents the year in which we have an opportunity to successfully emerge from these multilayered crises.”

For the 2021 event, specialty coffee industry trailblazer Emilio Lopez Diaz of Topeca Coffee, Cuatro M and Odyssey Coffees will be delivering a keynote address called “Living with Coffee Leaf Rust.”

Here’s the full online conference agenda:

Thursday, June 24
8-8:30 – Message from Hawaii Coffee Association President Chris Manfredi
8:45-10:15 – Keynote: Living with Coffee Leaf Rust
10:45-11:30 – Hawaii Department of Agriculture Update
11:45-12:30 – UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Update

Friday, June 25
9-10 – US Dept of Agriculture/Pacific Basin Ag Research Center Panel Update
10:15-11:15 – Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and Hawaii Coffee Growers Assn. Panel Update
11:30-12:15 – Social Media Marketing Tips — Anthology Marketing Group
12:45-1:30 – Get to Know Us: The Hawaii Coffee Association Café Collective
1:45 – Hawaii Coffee Association Board Election Results
5:00 – Hawaii Coffee Association Cupping Competition Awards Ceremony