On November 30, 2023, a significant milestone was reached in the battle for authentic coffee labeling. The Seattle Federal District Court approved the class action settlement involving Kona coffee growers and Mulvadi Corp., a Honolulu-based coffee marketer. Mulvadi agreed to pay $7.8 million, bringing the total of settlement payments from defendants to more than $41 million. Details of the Mulvadi settlement can be found here.
Alongside this financial resolution, Mulvadi and several other defendants have committed to injunctive relief, aiming to prevent future deceptive labeling of Kona coffee. The lawsuit, Corker et al. vs. Costco et al., filed in 2019, involved more than 20 defendants. A full statement of the deceptive marketing allegations can be reviewed here.
While the monetary compensation is significant, the lawsuit's deterrent effect on the misuse of the Kona name in future marketing efforts is paramount. For years, the misuse of 'Kona' on products containing little or no Kona coffee misled consumers and undermined the economic interests of genuine Kona coffee farmers. The result of this lawsuit provides a strong deterrent against future fraudulent labeling of Kona coffee and protects the integrity and fair marketing of all Hawaii-grown coffees.
This very favorable result reflects our own commitment at Rancho Aloha to authentic and transparent coffee marketing. The lawsuit’s outcome not only champions the rights of Kona coffee growers but also upholds the values we honor in the coffee community.