East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Coffee to Undergo New Valuation Method

October 30, 2015, 3:14 PM HST
* Updated October 30, 3:16 PM
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The United States Department of Agriculture Statistics Service recently announced that it will provide Hawai’i-grown coffee a green-bean pricing valuation, beginning in January 2016.

Hawai’i coffee will be valued under a “non-citrus fruits and nuts” model from its currently categorized “field crop” model. The current “farm gate value” is based on parchment rather than green bean, which will provide a more accurate reflection of market values and give growers an easier method of reporting.

More timely publication of data with preliminary data published in January and final data published in July are expectations of the shift.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard noted on Thursday that the decision to value Hawai’i grown coffee in the same way as the global coffee marketplace will allow the alignment of global valuation standards, while also increasing the value of coffee and attracting research and development funds that would support the industry.

“Hawaiʻi is our nation’s only domestic coffee producer, and this change will help strengthen our coffee industry and increase its potential for growth,” Congresswoman Gabbard said.

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United States Senator Brian Schatz noted that the USDA is not fully recognizing the value of coffee crops in Hawai’i, impacting the ability to finance and also the importance of coffee to the country’s economy.

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“This action by the USDA will make it easier for Hawai‘i farmers to get loans, and to secure federal funding for research and pest control,” said Senator Schatz.

Senator Mazie Hirono said the change will provide an increase in Hawai’i-grown value, giving it an accurate reflection of its major role in Hawai’i agriculture and position in the global market.

This is a big win for our coffee farmers and was made possible thanks to members of the Hawaiʻi agriculture community and our ongoing collaboration with the USDA,” Senator Hirono said.

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Congresswoman Gabbard and Senators Schatz and Hirono are all members of the Hawai’i Congressional Delegation.

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