Today the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that a measure to greatly restrict the definition of what gets labelled “Kona” coffee was rejected by a voting council: New board already may be shifting coffee group’s mission.
The Kona Coffee Council decided not to support bills intended to create stricter standards for use of the Kona label. Currently, the law allows anything with as little as 10% Kona coffee to use the label (commonly done for economics by cutting it with cheaper coffee), and one bill intended to increase that minimum requirement to 75%.
Kona produces a rather elite (and expensive) island coffee grown on the western mountainsides along the Big Island of Hawaii. Like French Champagne and Italian Parmeggiano(-Reggiano) cheese, Kona growers are wrestling with the global issue of quality and brand protectionism for regional products in a growing sea of cheap imitations.
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