A proposal to ensure Hawaiian coffee contains more coffee grown in the country has divided opinion across the island.
HB157 is a bill that was debated by the agriculture committee in Hawaii’s parliament last week.
Any coffee with a minimum content of 10% Hawaiian beans can be called Hawaiian coffee in Hawaii. However, this has been challenged by those who feel this does nothing for the Hawaiian coffee farmers, and cheapens the country as a ‘brand’.
However, not everyone agrees. Some well-known local coffee brands say this will increase their costs, which will have to be passed on to consumers at a time when inflation is already hurting the industry and hitting people in their pockets.
The retailers may be right about the increasing costs, but what’s the point of a name, if it doesn’t represent something? Those who want cheaper coffee will still be able to buy alternatives.
Photo by Christopher Michel
1 thought on “HAWAIIAN COFFEE BILL DIVIDES OPINION”
The Hawaiians are totally missing the point and are short sighted or outright “not smart”. Hawaiian coffee and specifically Kona coffee has achieved a level of upper class success for several reasons. Usally the coffee tastes great and different from other coffee grown elsewhere.. Two it’s in demand with a finite amount grown each season. Three, as a tourist island , many drinkers are introduced to this coffee while visiting there and want to take home this special product. The price is dictated by quality, demand and labor rates which are regulated. Allowing growers, distributors or others to water down their BRAND is crazy. By law the persentage of Hawaiian coffee in the blends needs to be disclosed and should be no less than 51%. As a 41 year veteran of the industry I just don’t get why producers would allow their product to be diluted and their brand tarnished. I get the price argument but it sure sounds like lots of consumers are getting “knocked off” Hawaiin coffees and will be disappointed with the taste and thus not repurchase.
Creating a premium brand takes years but can be distroyed relatively easily.
I agree. 10%, even 20% feels like misleading marketing.