Friday, July 12, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, May 2, 2024
HB2298 Coffee Labeling Bill Pushes Back on Blenders
By News Release @ 4:00 AM :: 1416 Views :: Agriculture, Small Business


News release from House Democratic Caucus, May 1, 2024

Kona, Hawaiʻi – A coffee labeling bill to protect local farmers and preserve the authenticity of Hawaiʻi -grown products has passed the 2024 Legislative Session and is expected to become law upon the governor's signature.

House Bill 2298 CD1, introduced by Representative Nicole E. Lowen, mandates that beginning July 1, 2027, any coffee labeled or advertised with a Hawaiʻi geographic origin must consist of at least fifty-one percent coffee by weight from that geographic region. The current requirement, set at ten percent, means that coffee products can be labeled as a specialty product from a specific region when in fact ninety percent of what is being sold is not from that region. This measure aims to protect Hawaiʻi's origin products, combat deceptive labeling, and ensure that products that bear regional names contain at least a majority of product from that region.

"This initiative is about protecting Kona's world-renowned coffee and ensuring that local farmers receive the prices they deserve for their products, and that dollars stay in Hawaiʻi's economy," said Representative Nicole E. Lowen (D-7 Kailua-Kona, North Kona, South Kohala). "The percentage of Kona Coffee required for it to be labeled Kona should be 100 percent, but given that this is the first progress made on this in more than thirty years, it’s a huge win."

For over three decades, the debate over the required percentage of coffee originating from the geographic area to qualify as Hawaiian coffee has persisted, with existing regulations set at a minimum of ten percent. In 2022, the Legislature passed Act 222, which requested that the HDOA conduct a study on the impact of coffee labeling laws on coffee farmers and to determine the economically ideal proportion of Kona beans in products marketed as Kona coffee.

"By gradually implementing an increase in minimum standards, this bill protects the integrity of all regional coffee brands in Hawaiʻi, like Kona and Kaʻū, and supports our local farmers," said Representative Kirstin Kahaloa (D-6 Hōnaunau, Nāpō‘opo‘o, Captain Cook, Kealakekua, Keauhou, Hōlualoa, Kailua-Kona).

On January 18, 2024, the HDOA submitted the Final Report on the Economic Study on Changes in Coffee Labeling Law. The report highlights that increasing the minimum amount of Kona coffee from 10 percent to either fifty-one percent or one hundred percent would be advantageous for local farmers, with a higher increase providing the most benefit. Additionally, the report anticipates that proposed labeling changes could result in a price increase for Kona coffee while seeing minimal impact on quantities grown or sold.

“For too long, we have allowed products that are not Kona coffee to use the Kona coffee name and reputation for profit at the expense of farmers. This law is a step forward in doing the right thing for Hawaiʻi's farmers and supporting their economic growth,” said Representative Jeanne Kapela (D-5 Portions of Kea‘au and Kurtistown, Mountain View, Glenwood, Fern Forest, Volcano, Pāhala, Punalu‘u, Nā‘ālehu, Wai‘ōhinu, Hawaiian Ocean View, Ho‘okena).

"HB2298 CD1 is a pivotal advancement in our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the integrity of Hawaiʻi’s cherished agricultural industries. By requiring a majority percentage of coffee from the specified geographic region in labeled products, we’re not only protecting our farmers’ livelihoods but also ensuring that consumers receive authentic, high-quality coffee synonymous with our beloved regions like Kona and Kaʻū. This legislation reflects our dedication to fostering a sustainable and transparent agricultural sector, one that honors our traditions while promoting economic prosperity for generations to come.  I look forward to continuing the work ahead to further strengthen and preserve the rich heritage of Hawaiʻi’s coffee industry for all," said Senate Majority Leader Dru Mamo Kanuha (D- 3 Kona, Ka‘ū, Volcano).

"This session, the Legislature was able to pass out a bill that ultimately supports our coffee farmers and in reality, the whole coffee industry in the State of Hawai‘i. By increasing the required percentage of Hawai‘i regional coffee to fifty-one percent for the use of geographic monograms, we are raising standards, enhancing transparency in labeling, and will ultimately advance the coffee industry over time. Mahalo to the coffee processors and farmers who worked together to find middle ground," said Senator Tim Richards (D-4 North Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, North Kona).


DCN: Hawaii Legislature Approves Landmark Coffee Labeling BillDaily Coffee News by Roast Magazine 

SN: Bill raises content requirements for 'Hawaii' coffee



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii