STAND. COM. REP. NO. 359
RE: S.B. No. 594
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2015
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred S.B. No. 594 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COFFEE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require coffee blends to contain a specific listing of the geographic origins of Hawaii-grown coffees and various coffees not grown in Hawaii included in the blend on the front panel of the label and requires coffee blends labeled or advertised from a specific geographic origin to contain at least eighty percent of coffee from that geographic origin.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Kona View Coffee; Kona Coffee Farmers Association; Lyman Kona Coffee Farms; Athena of Hawaii Coffee LLC; Hale Kai Lana, Inc.; Kawanui Farm; Hawaii Farmers Union United; Kona Sunset Farmers Market; Aikane Kona Coffee; Blue Corner Coffee; Lavarock Farm; Cyanotech Corporation; and nineteen individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Food Industry Association; Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association; Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee; Heavenly Hawaiian Farms; Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association; Hawaii Coffee Growers Association; Hawaiian Paradise Coffee; Hawaii Coffee Association; Harold L. King Co., Inc.; Mainland Ventures; Kau Coffee Mill; Paradise Beverages, Inc.; Kona Horizons; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Hawaii Restaurant Association; McDonald's of Hawaii; Intelligent Blends; Honolulu Coffee; and twenty-eight individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committee finds that Hawaii is home to diverse climates, soils, traditions, practices, and people that produce a wide variety of high-quality and high-value agricultural products unique to specific geographic origins. Coffee is one such product with a given quality, reputation, or characteristic attributable to its geographic origin. Your Committee finds that it is imperative to protect the quality and brand-name of Hawaii-grown coffee by ensuring that consumers understand how much Hawaii-grown coffee is contained in a coffee blend.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language to allow coffee blend labels to list "imported coffee" with the percentage by weight of the imported coffees contained in the blend in the aggregate;
(2) Inserting language to explicitly require all type used for the list of coffee blend contents to be of the same size;
(3) Deleting language amending the threshold percentage of coffee by weight from a geographic origin that is required in a coffee blend labeled or advertised from that specific geographic origin; thereby retaining in statute the current threshold amount of ten percent; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
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 S.B. No. 594, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 594, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair