Kona Coffee Farmers Association supports California Ballot Proposition 37

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s (KCFA) board is supporting California Ballot Proposition 37. If passed, the ballot will make California the first state in the United States to require labelling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, the Star-Advertiser reported. The announcement, made at the KCFA’s August meeting, came after the board unanimously voted to support the proposition. The board said it “has long promoted the importance of the consumers ‘right to know’ to the economic health of the Kona coffee economy”. Under the new bill, Kona Coffee growers will have to ensure coffee packages clearly state where the coffee is grown. “Passage of Proposition 37 will nationally establish ‘consumers' right to know’ as an important principle which will bring long range benefits to Hawaii agriculture and Kona Coffee Farmers,” KCFA said in a news release on 23 August. Kona Coffee Farmers is made of small-scale farmers who produce some of the world’s premier specialty crops. Agricultural crops, which include Kona and other Hawaii-grown coffees, is the fastest growing segment of Hawaii agriculture and has replaced commodity crops of sugar and pineapple as the core of the state’s agriculture, according to KCFA. In Hawaii and the US mainland, the name Kona is commonly used on packages of coffee that contain little or no Kona-grown coffee. Often there is no information on the front label that would allow consumers to determine the geographic origin of the coffee in the package. The passage of Proposition 37 will nationally establish  ‘consumers’ right to know’, which will bring long-term benefits to Hawaiian agriculture and Kona Coffee Farmers. The KCFA joins thousands of consumer and farmer organisations from California and throughout the US by endorsing the passage of California Ballot Proposition 37 in the November 2012 US election.

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