Hawaiian bill may change the way Kona coffee is labeled

Having the "Kona" on a coffee label can have a direct effect on higher demand and increased quality expectations as that particular Hawaiian region often produces what is regarded as some of the best coffee in the world. But, on Thursday, May 3 Hawaiian lawmakers will vote on a bill that may change the way Kona coffee can be labeled.

The bill that lawmakers will be voting on proposes that the state removes the "mandatory certification requirements for Hawaii-grown coffee," according to BusinessWeek. Currently, in order for a coffee label to promote that the product is "Kona" it must first be inspected and certified by the state, as well as contain at least 10 percent of beans grown in the region.

With the new bill, this inspection will become completely voluntary and allow growers to chalk up their own proof of the coffee's region of origin.

Many coffee growers in the area are highly opposed to the bill. BusinessWeek quotes Bruce Corker, the legislative committee chairman for the Kona Coffee Farmer's Association, saying that, "this  is a bad bill and it's going to have disastrous effects for the quality and reputation for Kona coffee."

The bill stems from a shortage of staff in Hawaii's Department of Agriculture, which includes a drastic reduction in the number of coffee inspectors available on the West Hawaii island. This shortage has caused many growers to suffer from certification delays and, therefore, lost profit.

If the bill passes and local growers continue to get their coffee inspected by the state, those growers may want to invest in a Primera LX Series color label printer to produce custom labels that promote the company's commitment to the standards of Kona coffee.

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