October 29, 2015

Hirono, Gabbard, Schatz Announce New Valuation Method for Locally Grown Coffee

Today, the Hawai?i Congressional Delegation praised the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will provide a green bean pricing valuation for Hawaii-grown coffee starting in January 2016.  Currently, Hawaii coffee “farm gate value” is based on parchment rather than green bean. Green bean coffee valuation will more accurately reflect market values and make reporting easier for growers.

"This change will increase the reported value of Hawaii-grown coffee to more accurately reflect its critical role in Hawaii agriculture as well as its position in the global coffee market,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii). “This is a big win for our coffee farmers and was made possible thanks to members of the Hawai?i agriculture community and our ongoing collaboration with the USDA."

“Despite achieving global recognition, Hawaii-grown coffee has long been valued differently than most of the global coffee market,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “This announcement by the USDA to value Hawai?i coffee in the same way as the global coffee marketplace will better align with global valuation standards, increase the value of Hawai?i-grown coffee, and help attract additional research and development funds to support our local coffee farmers and industry. Hawai?i is our nation's only domestic coffee producer, and this change will help strengthen our coffee industry and increase its potential for growth.”

“The USDA currently understates the value of Hawaii’s coffee crops, which impacts the availability of financing, and the importance of coffee to the U.S. economy,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “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.” 

Background:

The plan calls for Hawaii coffee to be valued under a “non-citrus fruits and nuts” model from its current “field crop” model.  This shift will allow for a more timely publication of data with preliminary data published in January and final data published in July.  Hawaii’s coffee stakeholders will be provided with valuable data including bearing acreage, yield, total production, utilized production, average price, and value of production on a cherry basis.