A current class action lawsuit claims that 20 million pounds of coffee fake labeled “Kona” is being sold on the world market. In a David v. Goliath clash five small Kona Coffee farmers, Bruce Corker, Colehour Bondera, Melanie Bondera, Robert Smith and Cecelia Smith, have sued Costco, Amazon, Hawaiian Isles, Cost Plus, Boyer’s, L & K Coffee, Copper Moon, Cameron’s, Gold Coffee, Coffee Inc,, Kroger, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Albertsons, Safeway, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Sprout , Maui Coffee Company and Costa Rician Gold alleging that they are selling fake Kona coffee.
It has been gallows humor for years that more Kona coffee is sold on the world market than is grown in Kona. Farmers in Kau, Puna and Hamakua can put sacks of coffee in their car trunks, drive into Kona and magically sell the beans as Kona coffee. Mainland roasters can add a few Kona beans to a sack of Central American coffee and sell “Kona Blend Coffee.” Everyone has known for years that Kona coffee was being counterfeited even in Hawaii. . You can go to the Hawaiian ports on almost any day and see 130 pound sacks of foreign coffee being offloaded. That foreign coffee disappears and magically becomes Kona coffee or “Kona Blend Coffee.”
So far the little guys are doing great. They have total settlements of over $13,000,000. Without admitting that they have done anything wrong, Costco, Gold Coffee Roasters, T.J. Maxx, Boyer’s Coffee, Cameron’s Coffee, Copper Moon Coffee, Cost Plus Inc and Maui Coffee Co. have settled. Each of the defendants has agreed to injunctions requiring them to provide information to consumers on the front of the coffee bag about the percentage of real Kona coffee in their products. They also agreed to only sell and/or distribute Hawaii Department of Agriculture certified Kona coffee.
The lawsuit is still proceeding for Amazon, Hawaiian Isles, L & K Coffee, Coffee Inc, Kroger, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Albertsons, Safeway, Marshalls, Sprout and Costa Rician Gold.
All Kona Coffee farmers owe an enormous debt of gratitude to these five farmers.
Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC is a boutique farm in Kona, Hawaii that grows, processes and roasts its own current crop coffee beans. We grow 7 different varieties of coffee and process them using 5 different methods. We roast date every bag of our coffee. Hula Daddy Kona Coffee does not sell coffee cherry or green coffee beans to anyone.
Hula Daddy is Kona’s most awarded coffee. In 2019, Hula Daddy won First, Fourth and Fifth place in the Kona Coffee Competition. In 2018, Forbes Magazine picked Hula Daddy as one of the Top 12 Coffee Roasters in the United States. Also in 2018, Coffee Review selected Hula Daddy out of the thousands of coffees it tastes every year as the Number 1 Coffee of 2018. In 2017, we came in Second in the Hawaii Cupping Competition and in the Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. In 2017, Laura’s Reserve SL-28 received 97 points from Coffee Review and was Number 2 in the Top Coffees of 2017.