STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2967

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2955

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2955 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COFFEE LABELING,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to expand the coffee labeling and advertising requirements to include ready-to-drink coffee beverages and inner wrapping or packaging labels.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Rancho Aloha Kona Coffee; Kona Mountain Coffee; Kona Coffee Farmers Association; Absolute Palate, LLC; Konaloha Farms; Cassandra Farms; Pohaku Farm; Mauna Mama Kona Coffee; Athena of Hawaii, LLC; and eight individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that existing statutory requirements for fair trade coffee labeling and advertising apply to roasted and instant coffee, but do not apply to ready-to-drink coffee beverages and inner wrapping labels. Marketers of ready-to-drink coffee products can use names like "Kona coffee", "Maui coffee", or "Hawaii coffee" in labeling of packages containing little to no coffee from the named region, deceiving consumers and economically damaging Hawaii coffee farmers. This measure helps to protect the integrity of Hawaii-grown coffee and Hawaii coffee farmers by expanding truth in labeling laws to ready-to-drink coffee beverages.

 

Your Committee notes the concerns raised in testimony of the Department of Agriculture that there are limitations regarding enforcement of origin claims after coffee is roasted or manufactured as a ready-to-drink beverage. Your Committee therefore encourages the Department of Agriculture to work with other stakeholders in the Hawaii-grown coffee industry and the University of Hawaii research units to assist in the development or adoption of technology and other efforts to regulate and enforce the authenticity of roasted or blended Hawaii-grown coffee labeling.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2955 and recommends that it pass Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,

 

 

 

________________________________

ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair