TripAdvisor Ranks Kailua-Kona as One of the Top Cities on the Rise

A travel site named Kailua-Kona as one of the top cities “on the rise” to visit in the United States this year.

Kailua-Kona was ranked as number 10 in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice list of “Top Destinations on the Rise” in the United States.

Click to view the other destinations

Click to view the other destinations

TripAdvisor says Kailua-Kona “Coffee drinkers will recognize Kona as the source of some of the best beans in the world. Get your blood pumping with a walk along the “Royal Footsteps” waterfront stretch of Alii Drive, or take stargazing to the next level with a nighttime visit to the summit of Mauna Kea. Waterfalls, volcanoes, and soft black sands are just some of the natural features that make Kailua unique. Shimmy your hips at a hula-filled luau, or get an eyeful of native history at the Kamakahonu compound.”

Gatlinburg, Tenn., Orange Beach, Alabama and Destin, Florida were the top three on the list.

Senator Hirono and USDA Announce First Major Federal Initiative to Fight Coffee Berry Borer

After Hirono Urged USDA To Take Action Against The Highly Destructive Beetle Earlier This Year, Department Agrees To Spend $1 Million Immediately To Set-Up Hawaii Operation To Fight Invasive Species

Senator Mazie K. Hirono and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled the first major federal initiative today to fight the coffee berry borer that has been ravaging Hawaii Island coffee farms for almost three years. The project, a new arm of the USDA’s integrated pest management program, will be a scientifically-based approach to fighting the invasive species. In the immediate term, USDA will spend an initial $1 million dollars to set-up the Hawaii operation.

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

“This new initiative to fight the coffee berry borer is great news for Hawaii and our economy, and I am very pleased that the USDA has recognized the threat of this highly destructive invasive species,” said Hirono. “Our state produces some of the world’s best coffee, and coffee is an important export from our state. But the livelihood of Hawaii Island coffee growers is increasingly being threatened by the coffee berry borer, as many farmers are forced to abandon large portions of their yields due to infestation each year. That’s why I originally urged the USDA to set up this initiative and have been working closely with the department to begin its implementation. USDA, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii will collectively work to help coffee farmers combat and contain this invasive species.”

The announcement of the new project comes after Hirono urged the department to set up a Hawaii operation to fight the coffee berry borer. After working closely with Hirono and Hawaii coffee farmers to assess the need for the program, USDA agreed to immediately implement a new initiative to fight the devastating invasive species.

“USDA shares your concerns about the agricultural and economic impacts of this noxious pest,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wrote to Hirono in a letter earlier this month. “As such, I am pleased to announce the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has funded an Area Wide Integrated Pest Management program to aid in controlling the coffee berry borer in the United States.”

Electronic scan of the coffee berry borer

Electronic scan of the coffee berry borer

Members of the Hawaii delegation have been working to get more funding for a possible program in the Farm Bill currently being considered in Congress. Ahead of USDA’s agreement to fund a program, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced a successful amendment which was included in the Farm Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that authorized funding for a USDA program. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa cosponsored the measure. Hirono introduced a similar measure in the Senate that was cosponsored by Senator Brian Schatz.

“The coffee berry borer has been a destructive force striking at the heart of Hawai‘i’s multi-million dollar coffee industry,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “In just two years, our treasured Kona coffee industry suffered more than $9 million in market losses, representing a roughly 25 percent revenue decrease. The economic impact has been deeply felt by coffee farms, most of which are small family farms, and coffee processors are being forced to lay off workers or reduce hours. The USDA initiative being established in Hawai‘i will help local coffee growers combat the effects of this invasive and destructive pest.”

The new program will be tasked with distributing effective treatments to local farmers and educating them on the most effective treatment practices, researching the genetic makeup of the coffee berry borer to find its weakness and disposing of infected plants. In his letter, Vilsack explained that the new USDA initiative will coordinate with local coffee farmers, the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to use the following techniques to fight the borer:

  • Distribute the most effective repellents to farmers and training them on how to best use these treatments
  • Research new types of pest controls that could be more effective in killing the beetles
  • Create a plant sanitation program that decreases the opportunities for borer to reproduce and spread
  • Study the borer to find how the species is similar or different that other agricultural pest in order to develop better methods for controlling the pest

Hawaii Island is home to more than 700 small coffee farms. In 2011, coffee farmers in Hawaii produced more than 8 million pounds of coffee, valued at more than $30 million.

The borer is an insect native to Central Africa that lives, feeds and reproduces in both immature and mature coffee berries. This damage can have a significant negative impact on the quality and quantity of coffee crop yields. As a direct result of the coffee berry borer, many farmers in 2012 have expressed concerns that their yields were in jeopardy. Recent reports have found infestation rates of up to 80% for some Hawaii farms.

Vilsack’s letter to Hirono agreeing to start the program, as well as her initial call for the USDA to create the initiative, read below:

USDA to Mazie

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Click to Enlarge

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18th Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) Conference and 5th Cupping Competition

The 18th Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) Conference and 5th Cupping Competition is July 18-20 at the Kauai Beach Resort. Offering a full lineup of informative activities, the annual event attracts statewide coffee industry growers, processors, roasters, wholesalers and retailers.

2010 Cupping Winner

2010 Cupping Winner

The gathering is also open to the public and the 2013-2014 season marks the 200th anniversary of coffee cultivation in Hawaii.

The conference includes workshops covering green grading, label compliance, quality control of roasting and packaging, cupping and eradication of the coffee berry borer beetle. Also on tap are legislative updates and reports from UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) and the Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council (SHAC).

Other activities include an expo, silent auction, election of HCA officers, tour of Kauai Coffee Company and networking reception at the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Winners of the cupping competition are announced Saturday at a dinner headlined by TV business reporter Howard Dicus.

The prestigious, annual cupping competition is an evaluation of coffee based on flavor, aroma, “mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste. Last year, a panel of three lead judges, using standardized blind procedures, cupped a field of 117 Hawaiian coffees hailing from eight districts. Top honors were given to Heavenly Hawaiian Farms in Kona and the Big Isle’s Wood Valley Coffee Co. in K’au.

For more information and to register, visit

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers.  The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. The annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention. For information, visit



Coffee Berry Borer Bill Passes House, Moves to Senate

The House passed HB353 HD1, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen, which would appropriate funds to address the infestation of the coffee berry borer beetle, a pest that is causing widespread damage to coffee crops on the Big Island.


In recent years the coffee berry borer beetle has been ravaging coffee farms in the Kona area, with over 90% of coffee operations on Hawaii Island being affected. Help is clearly needed for an industry that is responsible for $30 million in revenue annually, and help is on the way. The bill, which will now advance to the Senate for consideration, would appropriate $300,000 in State funds to be matched by an additional $200,000 from federal or other sources.  When added to current federal funds of $330,000 already granted and another $200,000 that the State DOA has committed to, it adds up to a total of just over $1 million in state and matching funds over the next four years.

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

“Our farmers need help in dealing with the coffee berry borer beetle before it decimates the Kona coffee industry,” said the bill’s introducer, Rep. Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau). “The final draft that we sent over to the Senate provides the industry with the aid it desperately needs in a manner that is fiscally responsible, and I plan to keep working hard to secure additional funds in the future.”


Kona Coffee Fest Names Company Label and Website Winners

The 13th annual Kona Coffee Label & Website Competition awarded companies that market Kona coffee with top-notch packaging—whether it’s on the bag or on the Internet.

Hosted by Kamehameha Investment Corporation (KIC), the contest fosters “truth in labeling” and is a highlight of the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Winners of both contests earned ribbons and cash.

Taking first place among 29 entries in the label division was Pu’u Nani Farms of Kailua-Kona

Followed by two second place winners: Makahiki Farms of Captain Cook

and Wakefield & Sons of Kealakekua.

Placing third was Kona Rising Coffee Company of Kealakekua

The People’s Choice Award went to Ohana Harbor Coffee Company of Holualoa. Piko 2 Piko of Kailua-Kona and Hualalai Harvest of Holualoa were tied for the Sponsors Award.

Copy and graphics with a strong identity to Kona coffee are the major criteria for judging labels. Educating the consumer as to what makes Kona Coffee so special is a plus while complying with state label laws. The website contest is similarly judged but requires sites be dedicated to the promotion of Kona coffee only, with a strong emphasis on Kona. The order process must be simple and have a secure system.

Nearly 25 coffee companies entered the website division and Kuaiwi Farm of Captain Cook took first place; Halama Farms of Holualoa earned second place; and Buddha’s Cup of Holualoa and Konaloha Coffee Company of Eureka, Calif. were tied for third place. Rancho Aloha of Holualoa was tapped with the Sponsors Award. The winning websites can be found at,,, and

“Kamehameha Investment Corporation continues to support our hard-working coffee farmers who best market their product—and the coveted Kona brand—with effective and attractive labels and websites,” says Valery O’Brien, KIC marketing director.

Competing coffee labels and websites were displayed at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay during the recent Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Commentary – Passage of HB 280 is Important for Hawaii Coffee Industry

Coffee is one of Hawaii’s signature products. The legendary Kona origin has been part of the mystique of Hawaii for nearly 200 years. High-quality Hawaiian coffee is a unique export crop in that it is almost exclusively grown on small family farms that help to support resilient rural communities. However the very success of Hawaii’s coffee has led to problems of counterfeiting that the coffee industry must address in order to protect the integrity of Hawaiian coffee in a global marketplace.

HB280 seeks to repeal mandatory coffee certification for quality standards while giving Hawaii’s valuable coffee origins more protection.

Deep budget cuts in 2009 set Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture on its heels, shrinking the department’s budget by 19%. Numerous positions were eliminated, including coffee inspectors. With the loss of all but one inspector position in Kona, the viability of the inspection service was crippled. This year’s growing season has been marked by increasing delays for inspection and certification. Coupled with impacts from Coffee Berry Borer, severe drought, and rising shipping costs, the coffee industry has reached a tipping point. Delays of up to four weeks hurt the industry, crimping cash flows to farmers and producers alike, strangling commerce.

The certification process has become a restrictive bottleneck, damaging the industry it was intended to protect. Inspector positions have not been restored notwithstanding industry efforts. The pain will continue if a remedy is not found. Our primary competition is not within our borders, but overseas where our wage and benefit burdens don’t exist. Long delays combined with relatively high production and shipping costs combine to make one of Hawaii’s signature crops less competitive in the global marketplace. Clearly a change is needed.

There are two aspects of coffee certification that inspections address: minimum quality standards and origin. Currently, in order to sell coffee as of Hawaiian origin, minimum quality standards must be met. Sophisticated buyers who pay the prices that Hawaiian coffees command typically request samples in advance. These samples are evaluated to a much higher standard than HDOA’s standards by panels of highly skilled, accredited cuppers with discerning palates. The ultimate arbiter of quality is the buyer. If coffee buyers are not demanding minimum quality certification by HDOA, HB280 will make quality certification voluntary. If they are, it would continue to be available on a fee-for-service basis.

Secondly is certification for origin. This inspection helps ensure that the coffee is accurately represented by the seller with respect to where it is grown. Maximum penalties are currently up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, or both, and enforcement lies with HDOA. These penalties are not having the necessary deterrent effect. A fine of $1,000 is less than the value of a single bag of quality Hawaiian green coffee and HDOA has never put anyone in jail.

Passage of HB280 would make false labeling (counterfeiting) of Hawaii-grown coffee a felony punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The bill provides for enhanced record keeping and reporting and gives law enforcement statutory authority to enforce the laws. HB280 gives Hawaii’s valuable coffee origins more protection than they have ever had before; certainly more than what exists today. The ability for producers to opt out of minimum quality certification will reduce HDOA’s workload, eliminate delays and help rural locations that have been historically underserved by inspectors.

It’s important to note that Hawaii’s current certification rules do not regulate roasted coffee nor any coffee not moved out of the growing region. If the market can voluntarily regulate quality in these trading environments, the same is true at other levels.

While much of Hawaii’s coffee is produced on small family farms, large scale production is also found on plantations located on Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu. Given this diverse spectrum of producers, it’s uncommon when such a broad array of stakeholders agrees upon any issue. This is one of those landmark occasions when growers and producers, large and small, government and law enforcement agree on a solution.

HB 280 is less costly, improves Hawaii’s competiveness, helps rural underserved locations and protects Hawaii’s valuable origins better than ever before.

That sounds like a change for the better.

Chris Manfredi

Ka’u Farm Bureau

This opinion is endorsed by the collective membership of the Hawaii Coffee Association, Kona Coffee Council, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association and the Maui Coffee Association.

The Story Behind Kona Historical Society Kona Coffee Living History Farm

The story of Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm begins with the Uchida Farm.

Find out how the only living history coffee farm in the nation got its start. This video was made in 1999 as the farm was just beginning.


Now, with its completion over 10 years ago, you may stroll through the award-winning Kona Coffee Living History Farm that tells the story of Kona’s coffee pioneers during the 1920’s, “talking story” with costumed historians and discovering the history behind Kona’s gourmet crop.

Come join us! You won’t leave this place without feeling you have experienced a rare glimpse into Hawai`i’s colorful past.

Big Island Coffee Growers Favor APEC Free Trade Deal

Earlier this week, Barack Obama, the US president, announced plans to create a free trade agreement with some Asia-Pacific countries during an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Hawaii.

The decision comes as coffee growers in the US state struggle to keep their generations-old businesses going.

A Kona Coffee Grower say Asian markets are "willing to pay more for a good product than the average American Citizen".

Big Island growers say they are in favor of the proposed deal because Asian markets are “willing to pay more for a good product than the average American citizen”.


Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reports from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hawaii Coffee Association Results – 3rd Annual Hawaii Statewide Cupping Competion

Media Release:

The Hawaii Coffee Association crowned its third Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee at its 16th Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Hilton Waikoloa Village located on Kona’s Gold Coast. The HCA joined with Coffee Fest, a national coffee industry trade show, to co-host the three-day event.

Rusty’s Hawaiian 100% Ka’u Coffee received top honors for the second consecutive year in the competition between coffees entered from each growing origin in Hawaii. The coffees were ‘cupped’ and scored from a pool of 58 premium Hawaiian coffees from eight districts by a panel of six notable coffee industry professionals using standardized blind procedures. Awards were given to the top three entries from each origin as well as the Grand Champion award.

Lorie Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian accepted the coveted HCA award presented by witty commentator and keynote speaker Howard Dicus. Lorie passionately expressed simultaneous joy and sorrow adding that she was emotionally torn between sadness and elation because her late husband and farm namesake, Rusty, could not share the award while expressing joy over realizing his dream. “This is for my late husband, our farm, the Ka’u district, the HCA and all Hawaii coffees from across the state,” Obra said.

The expanded cupping panel included Shawn Hamilton of Java City Roasters, Warren Muller of Inter American Coffee, Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International, Lindsey Bolger of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Jay Isais and Jesse Martinez of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Four of the six are licensed coffee graders. None are based in Hawaii to help ensure impartiality. “The cup quality and diversity has improved every year,” said chief judge Hamilton. “We’re experiencing flavors that would never have been associated with Hawaiian coffee in years past. Everyone is upping their game.”

HCA members re-elected Tom Greenwell as president at their annual member meeting. The conference also featured an industry trade show, guest speakers, growers’ reports, diverse educational seminars, a hands-on cupping workshop and a latte art competition.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers.  The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. This annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention.

For more information visit Hawaii Coffee Association’s website at




1.     Hawaii White Mountain LLC


1.     Hilo Coffee Mill

2.     Makana Gardens

3.    Manny’s Brew Coffee Co


1.     Moloa’a Bay Coffee

2.     Kauai Coffee Company


1.     Rusty’s Hawaiian

2.     JN Coffee Farm

3.     Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee


1.     Greenwell Farms

2.     Hawaiian Queen Coffee

3.     Arianna Farms `Ono Kona Coffee


1.     Shim Coffee & Protea Farm

2.     Keokea Farms

3.     Punawai Farms


1.     Coffees of Hawaii


1.     Waialua Estate Coffee

2.     Pavaraga – HARC

2011 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Artist Submission/Call for Entries

Media Release:

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is excited to extend a call to artists to submit new artwork for this year’s 41st Annual Festival. The winning artwork will be the feature on Festival buttons, poster, t-shirt, website, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival magazine, and newspaper tabloid, giving the winning artist great exposure among the thousands of festival goers.

The Festival is looking for paintings that clearly express the theme of this year’s Kona Coffee Cultural Festival “Pride of the Pacific.” The winning artist will receive a complimentary booth to show his/her art work at the Festival’s Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll event scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2011 and a feature in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival magazine.

Submission details:

  • Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 29, 2011. The winning artist will be notified in writing by Monday, May 9, 2011.
  • The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival has full image usage rights in perpetuity for the 2011 Festival winning artwork and for any future Festival needs.
  • Submissions may be original artwork or digital file of art. The winning artist may be asked to work with the Festival to prepare a final image.
  • If submitting artwork electronically, file should be at 300 dpi, approximately 8″ in longest dimension. Winning art if submitted digitally will require a higher resolution file for print collateral
  • Most promotional collateral is vertical or square.
  • No typography should be in the artwork.
  • Please include a short artist bio with each submission. A description of the submission is optional but not required.
  • Submissions should be delivered to Malia Bolton, Kona Coffee & Tea Company, 74-5035 Queen Kaahumanu Highway or electronically at, with subject line “festival submission.”

Artwork is due on or before Friday, April 29, 2011. Winning artist will be notified in writing. Deliver to Malia Bolton, Kona Coffee & Tea Company, 74-5035 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 or electronically to

To request a copy of the artwork rules and guidelines, contact Malia Bolton at 808-896-7907.

About The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized and supported as a ‘Major Festival’ by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) as the Festival showcases Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity. HTA was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the

future. Its mission is to strategically manage the growth of Hawaii’s visitor industry in a manner consistent with its economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources and community interests.

Brunch Benefits Keiki Nutrition Awareness

Media Release:

Tickets are still available for ‘Q’uisine of Hearts—a delectable Valentine brunch Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Treat your special someone to a bountiful brochette buffet, custom omelet stations and eggs benedict—all prepared by the culinary students at Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii.  An array of handcrafted miniature desserts by local pastry chefs, bakers, chocolatiers and ice-cream makers are sure to please your special someone.

Sip champagne, wines, handcrafted ales, 100% Kona coffee, or tropical teas while enjoying tinkling on the keyboard.  A silent auction includes bidding on premier floral arrangements, plus intimate dinners and pupu parties prepared by local chefs.

In it’s 16th year, ‘Q’uisine of Hearts is presented by the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association as a benefit for local keiki nutrition awareness programs. It is sponsored by the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort.

Ticket prices are $45 for adults and $20 for keiki aged 5-10. Purchase them by credit card at 808-329-2522 or at Chef’s Kitchen Supply and Kona Wine Market in Kona or at Tropical Dreams Ice Cream in Waimea. For information, contact event founder Jean Hull at 808-326-2350.

Buddha’s Cup Wins Prestigious Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

Manny Ochoa and Christine Colmane, co-owners, Buddha’s Cup took first place at the 2010 Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition held at Keauhou Beach Resort. Buddha’s Cup is a 24-acre farm with approximately 6 acres planted in Kona coffee and is located at the 2,300-foot elevation in Holualoa.

2010 Cupping Winner

“Being the winner is good! It makes all the hard work and dedication to growing Kona coffee pay off. We grow and process our coffee in the old style including drying our coffee in wood,” Manny said happily, but humble. “Our farm has been in the finals for the past eight years. Last year after placing in the finals yet again, one of the judges gave me some advice and here we are today.”

Second place was awarded to Kuaiwi Farms, a 100% certified organic Estate coffee located in Captain Cook. Third place was awarded to Brazen Hazen Kona Coffee, located in Holualoa.

Sixty Kona coffee farmers submitted entries into this year’s Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. Sixteen entries advanced to today’s final round.

Each coffee farm submitted a 50-pound sample from which five pounds were actually entered into competition. To be eligible, the coffee submitted must have been harvested in Kona. The Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition is a blind tasting. Once the entry is accepted, it is simply assigned a number to protect its anonymity. These numbers are changed midway into the cupping, between the preliminary and final rounds, to keep the judges’ palates alert throughout the competition.

The coffee samples, both green and roasted, are placed on a long table for the judges to independently evaluate. The judges look for high marks in these six categories: fragrance, aroma, taste, nose, aftertaste and body.

Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping Competition
First Place Winners

2010            Buddha’s Cup
2009            Wolf Farms
2008            Hoshide Farms
2007            Kona Old Style/Kuaiwi Farm
2006            Pearl Estate Organics
2005            Rancho Aloha
2004            Lafayette Coffee
2003            Kona Coffee & Tea Co.
2002            Koa Coffee Plantation
2001            Wood Captain Cook Estate
2000            The Other Farm
1999            Dragon Roast Coffee
1998            Brockston Gate Estate
1997            Terry Fitzgerald Estate
1996            Keokea Kona Farm
1995            Kona Kulana Farms
1994            Perry Estate Farms
1993            Keopu Mauka Lani Plantation
1992            Kona Kulana Farms
1991            Wailapa Farms
1990            Island Girl Coffee
1989            Wailapa Farms
1988            Faye Takashiba
1987            Tojiro Motoki

Contact Manny Ochoa, Buddha’s Cup 808-756-3580 or visit .

Kamehameha Schools Focus on Agriculture Family Farmers at the 40th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Media Release:

Kamehameha Schools stewards about 180,000 acres of agricultural lands as part of its statewide portfolio. On Hawai‘i Island alone, more than 72,000 acres of high-value agricultural lands help support a reliable food source, local jobs and a sustainable future for all Hawai‘i.

Prudent management of the Schools’ natural and cultural resources is essential. Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division (LAD) forged a strategic agricultural plan to provide goal-based initiatives for optimal agricultural management. Roughly 800 Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants are actively farming a variety of crops on Hawai‘i Island. These agricultural tenants play a vital role in providing Hawai‘i’s bountiful harvest and supporting Kamehameha Schools’ mission of creating educational opportunities to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.

Makahiki heralds this time of year where abundance and the harvest is celebrated. With more than 70% of all Kona coffee grown on the Schools’ lands, Kamehameha Schools is honored to actively participate as a sponsor of the 40th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

According to Les Apoliona, Kamehameha Schools North Kona land manager, “Farmers are the ambassadors of the Kona Coffee brand worldwide.” And on Wednesday and Thursday, November 10-11, the Kona coffee industry gathers at the Keauhou Beach Resort to witness the prestigious judging of Kona’s finest coffees at the Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping. The public is invited to meet these Kona coffee ambassadors and to judge a bit for themselves at the Keauhou Resort Kona Coffee Label and Website Competition. Dave and Trudy Bateman, KS agricultural tenants and owners of Heavenly Hawaiian, will be on hand alongside Kamehameha Schools to share farm information and samples of their 100% Kona coffee.

On Thursday, November 11 at the Keauhou Beach Resort, join Kamehameha Schools and their featured agricultural tenant – the family-owned Kona Coffee & Tea Company, the 2009 winner of the Gevalia Cupping Contest. The Private Reserve and Malia Ohana roasts will be available for sampling and purchase.

Following the Kamehameha Schools Kona Coffee Grand Parade on Saturday morning, November 13, the Schools will join the festivities and cultural events at the Makaeo County Pavilion. KS agricultural tenants Hawaii Island Gourmet and Kona Cowboy Coffee will be featuring delicious food pairings. With three generations of paniolo, Onaka Ranch proudly makes their special Kona Cowboy Coffee available for all to taste and savor. Hawaii Island Gourmet, known to many for their signature Atebara potato chips will also be available for sampling and purchase including taro, sweet potato and shrimp chips and cookies.

Also this week, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs is convening their annual convention at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. Kamehameha Schools will be exhibiting and sharing their land stewardship and strategic agricultural plans with convention attendees.

For more information on how to support local farmers or to view Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants with commercial businesses, visit

Quarantine of Green Coffee Bean Importation to be Considered at Advisory Committee Meeting

News Release From the Hawaii House Blog:

The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals, attached to the State Department of Agriculture, will meet on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 to consider one or more quarantine zones on the island of Hawaii to prohibit the importation of green coffee beans.  At issue is a serious infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer in local crops reported by Kona Coffee farmers.  The pest infestation was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service Systematic Entomology Laboratory.

Electronic scan of the coffee berry borer

The purpose of the meeting will be to hear testimony from the Hawaii coffee industry and, if warranted, to develop a request to the Board of Agriculture to adopt an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state.  The meeting will be held on:

Date:   Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time:  1:30 p.m.

Place: 1849 Auiki Street, Plant Quarantine Station Conference Room, Sand Island.

Persons wishing to provide testimony may do so in the following ways:

·         Via email to:

·         Via fax to: 808-832-0584

·         Drop off or Mail to: 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Oral testimony will be accepted at the meeting.  Testifiers must provide a contact phone number if they wish to receive confirmation that their testimony has been received.

“It is imperative that interested parties provide testimony either in person or in writing as this will determine the committee’s recommendation to the Board of Agriculture by the end of the month,” said Rep. Clift Tsuji (District 3 – South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown), Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture.  “The coffee industry in Hawaii has a history spanning 200 years, and we don’t want to see it collapse because of our inattention to contain or eradicate the coffee berry borer infestation.”

It is unknown at this time how the coffee berry borer will affect Kona coffee yields and quality of the product.  The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is considered the world’s most destructive coffee pest.  Researchers estimate that the damage caused by the coffee berry borer worldwide is about $500 million per year in a global industry worth $90 billion per year.

Currently, there is no provision in Hawaii Administrative Rules that addresses the coffee berry borer or that restricts movement of coffee relative to this pest.  An interim rule may be adopted in the absence of effective rules if a situation is dangerous to public health and safety or if the ecological health of flora and fauna is endangered as to constitute an emergency.

The Plant Quarantine Branch of the DOA has requested the adoption of an interim rule to prohibit the movement of coffee plants, plant parts, unroasted seeds, and used coffee bags out of a quarantine zone in the Kona area of the island of Hawaii, except by permit.  The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals may accept or amend the request and submit their findings to the Board of Agriculture which is scheduled to meet in late November.  The committee may also reject or defer the request.

Violators, under the proposed rule, would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100.  The maximum fine would be set at $10,000.  The interim rule would be valid for no longer than one year.

FACT SHEET – Coffee Berry Borer

Current Condition:

·         The Department of Agriculture has surveyed about 65 sites statewide.  Of these sites, 21 are infested with the coffee berry borer.

·         All infested sites are in the Kona area of the Big Island.

·         The infested zone includes the area from mile marker 29 on Hwy 190 (Mamalahoa Hwy) and mile marker 93 on Hwy 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Hwy), south to mile marker 62 on Hwy 11, east of Naalehu.

·         In addition to the infested zone, the DOA has reports from about 100 individual farms that may be infested.

·         The coffee berry borer lays its eggs in the coffee cherry and as the eggs develop into larva, the larva feed inside the coffee bean.  The bean may be further damaged by secondary fungal, bacterial and insect infestation.  The combined damage can reduce yield, lower the quality and destroy the entire bean.

Eradication/Control Strategy

·         There are no chemical insecticides available in Hawaii that can effectively control coffee berry borer.  As the pest lives inside the fruit, chemical control strategies are limited.

·         While it is difficult to contain the coffee berry borer, even with the establishment of quarantine zones, the dissemination of the contamination can be retarded for many years through improved pest management practices.  The pest spreads through human activity.

Coffee in Hawaii

·         There are 6,500 acres under cultivation statewide, with annual production running between 6 and 7 million pounds.

·         Kona has produced coffee continuously since the early 1800’s and supports nearly 600 independent farms.  Farms average 3 acres and only a few have 50 or more acres.  Total Kona coffee acreage is over 2,000 acres, producing more than 2 million pounds in most years.

·         Kauai has the largest coffee orchard in Hawaii and in the United States with 3,000 acres in production.

·         Maui has several small coffee farms spanning from Kaanapali, the slopes of Haleakala, and an organic farm in Hana.  Maui has a total of 500 acres of coffee planted on converted sugar cane lands.

·         Oahu has over 100 acres of coffee in Wahiawa and Waialua.

Brad Wolhman New Greenwell Farms Retail & Tour Manager

Media Release:

Greenwell Farms has named Brad Wolhman the new retail center & tours manager. Wolman’s responsibilities will be to oversee the day-to-day operations keeping its top priority of providing excellent customer service.

Brad Wolhman

“The Greenwell Farms ohana welcomes Brad and looks forward to his retail expertise in marketing and promotions. “We believe he possesses the dynamics and enthusiasm necessary to take us to a new level of business and customer service,” shared Tom Greenwell, general manager, Greenwell Farms.

Originally Brad hails from the state of Washington, where he had a career in law enforcement. Prior to that he was a retail business owner and manager.

Greenwell Farm tours share with visitors the Greenwell Farms history while demonstrating how Kona coffee is grown and produced from start to finish. Tours visit coffee trees that were planted in 1900 and in contrast walk through a coffee field planted seven years ago and now in full production. Guests will also visit the wet mill and hoshidana’s, dry mill and the roasting house. Japanese guided tours are also offered.

Concluding the tours, guests return to the retail center to taste freshly brewed Greenwell Farms 100% Kona coffee including many specialty roasts and flavors. The retail center specializes in featuring Hawaii made products including organic honey, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, handmade coffee ornaments, logo apparel and more, perfect for taking home or sharing with family and friends. Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Greenwell Farms legacy began in 1850 when Henry Nicholas Greenwell left England and first set foot on the fertile soil of rural Kona. Henry spent the next 40 years farming, ranching and perfecting his Kona coffee, soon exporting it to Europe and the Americas.

In 1873, the President of the Kaiser’s Exposition awarded the Greenwell’s a “Recognition Diploma” for their Kona coffee at the World’s Fair in Vienna, Austria. Today, Greenwell Farms is managed by fourth generation Tom Greenwell. Greenwell Farms grows its own coffee, and operates its processing and visitor attractions on just under 100 acres of the most productive land in the Kona District. The company purchases coffee cherry from over 300 selected farmers from the Kona region.

Hawaii County Fair Opens in Hilo this Weekend – Check Out the Kamehameha Schools Booth

Media Release:

As the 60th annual Hawai`i County Fair opens in Hilo this weekend, island residents are encouraged to visit the Kamehameha Schools booth located in the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. On every day of the four-day fair, a variety of farmers and ranchers who lease agricultural lands from Kamehameha Schools will take center stage providing tasty Hawai`i-grown samplings and products for sale.

Featured participants include Hawaii Beef Producers from Pa`auilo. Best known for their grass-fed cattle grown antibiotic and hormone free, Hawaii Beef Producers will be serving samples of savory beef stew and fair goers will have the opportunity to buy fresh meat rancher direct.

Hawaiian Pineapple Company, one of Hawai`i’s few remaining pineapple producers, is best known for their premium field ripened pineapple and sweet apple banana.  Most recently, however, they have been experimenting with cacao.  Come indulge in their newest chocolate creations which will be featured at the Kamehameha Schools booth, along with their apple banana, on Friday evening.

Stop by the KS booth on Saturday to taste delicious treats from Kona Dragon Fruit Inc., farming dragon fruit and mango on 19 acres of KS lands in South Kona, and Hawaii Island Gourmet Products, known to many for their signature Atebara potato chips. This Hilo-based company is much loved for their taro, sweet potato and shrimp chips and their mouthwatering cookies.

“We like supporting Hawai`i Island diversified agriculture,” said Clyde Oshiro who, with son-in-law Nimr Tamimi, formed Hawaii Island Gourmet Products in 2002 after purchasing Atebara. “We’re growing taro and sweet potato of our own on a few acres leased from Kamehameha Schools on the Hilo coast.”

On Sunday, enjoy samples courtesy of The Kona Coffee and Tea Company, winner of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s 2009 Gevalia Cupping Contest.  This family owned and operated company will impress you with their specialty 100% Kona coffee.  The Private Reserve and Malia Ohana roasts will also be available for sample and purchase.

Island-wide there are roughly 800 Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants farming a variety of crops that help sustain local agriculture and support the educational mission.

As part of the land legacy endowed by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha Schools stewards about 180,000 acres of agricultural lands statewide. On Hawai`i Island alone, more than 72,000 acres of high-value agricultural lands support a reliable food source, local jobs and a sustainable future for all of Hawai`i, and serves the educational mission established through the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

For more information on how to support local farmers or to view a list of Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants with commercial businesses, visit

State Officials and Industry to Meet on Kona Coffee Berry Borer Pest

From the House Communications Office:

WHAT: The Department of Agriculture, Big Island Legislative Delegation, UH College of Tropical Agriculture, Kona coffee growers, and members of the Hawaii coffee industry will meet to discuss the recent discovery of a pest known as the coffee berry borer at Kona coffee farms on the Big Island.  The coffee berry borer is considered a devastating coffee pest that reduces yield and quality of the coffee bean.  Given the potential impact to the Kona coffee industry in Hawaii, the purpose of the meeting is to bring the industry together, pool information, discuss what has been done so far, and what action to take to eradicate the pest.

WHEN:   Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Captain Cook Coffee Company

79-7415 Mamalahoa Highway

Kainaliu, Hawaii 96750

WHO: Rep. Clift Tsuji, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture

Big Island Legislators

Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson –  Board of Agriculture, Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA)

Ken Grace, Interim Associate Dean of Research, University of Hawai`i at Manoa – College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR)

Eric Jang, Research Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center

WHY: The identification of the coffee berry borer in Hawaii was confirmed on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory in Riverdale, MD.  The coffee berry borer is a small beetle, native to Central Africa and is found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.  The beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs.  The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Because the larvae are inside the bean, it makes it difficult to control by pesticides.

For information on the briefing


Miles Hakoda, Director of Communications, UH-CTAHR – (808) 956-3093, e-mail:

Janelle Saneishi, Public Information Officer, HDOA – (808) 973-9560,