Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2019


RE: H.B. No. 144





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 144 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to support Hawaii's coffee growers by requiring more accurate labeling and increasing coffee blending amounts to protect the Hawaii coffee brand by:


(1) Requiring disclosure on the label of coffee blends of the respective regional origins and percent by weight of the blended coffees; and


(2) Making it a violation of the coffee labeling law to use a geographic origin in labeling or advertising for coffee blends that contain less than fifty-one percent coffee by weight from that geographic origin.


The Kona Coffee Farmers Association, Monk's Delight Kona Coffee, Bea's Knees Farm, LavaRock Farm, Sugai Kona Coffee, Daily Fix Coffee, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and a number of concerned individuals supported this measure. The Kona Coffee Council, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Hawaii Coffee Association, and a concerned individual opposed this measure. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) submitted comments on this measure.


Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce to consider and take appropriate action on DOA's proposed amendment, as set forth in its testimony. The amendment takes into account and recognizes the extreme hardship on the coffee blending industry to require it to disclose the geographic origins of the various coffees not grown in Hawaii on the label of its coffee blends. The individual blend coffee components may not be available at all times due to logistics, crop size, and pricing. If any one of the blend components were not available, it would render the packaging material obsolete which would be very costly for a business. Accordingly, DOA proposes the following proposed language for section 486-120.6(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes:


"(b) A listing of the geographic origins of the various, Hawaii-grown coffees and the regional origins of the various coffees not grown in Hawaii that are included in a blend may be shown on the label. If used, this list shall consist of the term "Contains:", followed by, in descending order of per cent by weight and separated by commas, the respective geographic origin or regional origin of the various coffees in the blend. If a listing of the regional origins of the coffees not grown in Hawaii is not shown on the label, a statement consisting of the total per cent by weight of all coffees not grown in Hawaii followed by the words "non-Hawaii grown coffee" shall be shown on the label. The type size used for this list or statement shall not appear less than half that of the identity statement. This list or statement shall appear below the identity statement on the front panel of the label."


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 144 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,