The Kona coffee labeling bill stipulating that blends containing Kona must contain at least 51% Kona coffee to be labeled as such, will not receive a hearing this year.
Currently, a blend only has to have 10% Kona coffee to be qualified for the Kona coffee label. Despite more than 1,600 people signing the petition supporting the legislation to change the requirements, it will still not receive a hearing.
Many Hawaiian farmers have been disappointed yet again by this most recent failure on the part of the legislature to take steps to protect their product. As it stands, many coffees with small amounts of the prized Kona coffee will still be able to bear the label along with those coffees with much higher percentages of the beans.
For many, this is a prime example of influential lobbyists with deep pockets having too much say over the legislature.
Sen. Russell Ruderman, who authored the bill, said that he has plans to reintroduce the legislation next year.