At its August board meeting, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association (KCFA) passed a resolution supporting California Ballot Proposition 37, the KCFA announed in a media release. The bill, if passed, will make California the first state in the U.S. to require labeling of most foods made with genetically modified organisms.
Genetically engineered (GE) labeling is already law in nearly 50 countries, including China, Japan and all European states, while Alaska requires labeling of GE fish and shellfish.
This right to know campaign in California is not intended to eliminate GE foods from the market, but supports the belief that consumers should simply be able to know whether their food was genetically engineered.
KCFA has long promoted the importance of the consumers “right to know” to the economic health of the Kona coffee economy. In both Hawaii and on the US mainland, use of the name “Kona,” on packages of coffee that contain little or no Kona-grown coffee —and often no information that would allow consumers to determine the geographic origin of the majority of the coffee in the package deprives the consumer of their right-to-know.
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.
Full text of the resolution:
THE KONA COFFEE FARMERS ASSOCIATION
IN SUPPORT OF CALIFORNIA BALLOT PROPOSITION 37
AND CONSUMERS’ RIGHT TO KNOW
WHEREAS, the membership of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association is predominantly made up of small-scale farmers who produce one of the world’s premier specialty crops — 100% Kona Coffee;
WHEREAS, specialty agricultural crops (including 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 mainstay of State’s agriculture;
WHEREAS, because of high costs of land, labor and inputs for Hawaii agriculture, the economic viability of small-scale specialty crop farming in Hawaii is critically dependent on premium prices which in turn are dependent on consumers’ “right to know” that our products are specialty crops from Hawaii;
WHEREAS, in both Hawaii and on the US mainland the name “Kona” is commonly used on packages of coffee that contain little or no Kona-grown coffee — and often no information on the front label that would allow consumers to determine the geographic origin of the majority of the coffee in the package, and thereby depriving the consumer of their right-to-know;
WHEREAS, California Ballot Proposition 37 will apply the important principle of “consumers’ right to know” with respect to the labeling of genetically engineered ingredients in food products sold in California; and
WHEREAS, because California both has the largest agricultural production and has the largest economy in the United States, the 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;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT
1. The Kona Coffee Farmers Association joins thousands of farmers and consumer and farmer organizations from California and throughout the United States by endorsing the passage of California Ballot Proposition 37 in the November 2012 election; and
2. A copy of this resolution shall be transmitted to the California Right to Know Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopted this 21st day of August, 2012, by the Board of Directors of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association.