Continued Media Spotlight on Kona Coffee Mislabeling Class Action Lawsuit

Earlier this year, Kona coffee farmers received settlement payments from the final two defendants in the Lanham Act class action lawsuit over mislabeling—$12 million from the owner of Hawaii's ABC Stores and $7.775 million from the coffee roaster and marketer Mulvadi Corp. The total of the defendants' settlement payments exceeds $41 million.

While these monetary payments have significantly aided the farmers, the deterrent effect on potential future counterfeiting is arguably more vital. This deterrent has been amplified by ongoing media attention. On January 19, a front-page article titled "How Coffee Farmers in Hawaii Fought Counterfeit Kona Beans" appeared in The New York Times. Refer to our February 8, 2024 blog post for more details.

On April 20, CNBC reporter Jane Wells published an article on her Substack blog, titled "Are You Drinking Real Kona Coffee?" She discussed, among other issues, the lack of state protection for Hawaiian farmers compared to protections in other states, such as Idaho for its potato farmers, Vermont for its maple syrup producers, and California for its wine grape growers.

We extend our gratitude to Jane Wells and Virginia Hughes of The New York Times for their insightful articles and for highlighting the risks coffee consumers face from counterfeit products.

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