On Wednesday, a group of Hawaiian coffee growers filed a class action lawsuit against Walmart, Amazon, Costco, and other retailers, claiming that they improperly use the name “Kona” to market their coffee. Other defendants include local retailer ABC Stores and several companies in Hawaii and on the mainland that produce packaged coffee. March 1, 2019. Wash. Feb. 27, 2019). Among the defendants, Maui Coffee Co. is a Hawaii-based coffee producer. The complaint asserts that modern chemistry can now determine whether a given bag of coffee beans is authentic Kona coffee. In late February, a group of Kona, Hawaii coffee farmers filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle against coffee distributors, wholesalers, and retailers selling allegedly counterfeit Kona coffee products. There is no law prohibiting retailers from labeling coffee as Kona if it is sold … Other companies accused in the lawsuit either did not immediately respond to an invitation to comment or declined to comment. “With all legal matters, we prefer not to comment while there is a dispute out of respect for legal process,” said Rachael Barker, a spokeswoman for Cameron’s Coffee. A 7-ounce bag can cost $25. The coffee supplier defendants say there's no law prohibiting them from labeling coffee as Kona if it is sold out of state. Three Hawaii-based coffee producers are also defendants: Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, Mulvadi Corp. and Maui Coffee Co. Mainland coffee producers named in the lawsuit are Colorado-based Boyer’s Coffee Co., Michigan-based Magnum Coffee Roastery, Indiana-based Copper Moon Coffee, Florida-based Gold Coffee Roasters and Minnesota-based Cameron’s Coffee and Distribution Co. John Sheveland, president of Maui Coffee Co., said he was surprised by the lawsuit, especially since his company sells mainly Maui coffee. HONOLULU — Three Kona coffee farmers have sued the world’s biggest retailers and several coffee suppliers for allegedly flooding the market with fake Kona coffee. As a direct result, Plaintiffs have lost considerable profits, and Defendants have made considerable unjust profits, all in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. The firm would continue to represent Costco Wholesale Corp. Karr Tuttle Campbell also plans to file a class-action lawsuit based on the same claims on behalf of consumers who bought allegedly fraudulent Kona coffee. $14.99 $ 14. By Thomas M. Williams and Hillary E. Maynard. /**/, Copyright © 2020 West Hawaii Today. Kona coffee, typically grown by small farmers and harvested by hand, commands premium prices. Corker et al v. Costco Wholesale Corporation et al, No. Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company Kona Coffee Macadamia Nut Brittle. Love Costco! But the small farmers, who have long suspected that cheap coffee has been packaged as pricey beans from Kona, contend in the lawsuit that they have a powerful tool that can prove their case: scientific testing. Seattle- based law firm Karr Tuttle Campbell filed the lawsuit on behalf of farmers Bruce Corker of Rancho Aloha, Colehour and Melanie Bondera of Kanalani Ohana Farm and Robert and Cecelia Smith of Smithfarms. § 1125, by selling ordinary commodity coffee as Kona coffee. Three kona farmers, reports West Hawaii Today, are suing several huge retailers and multiple coffee producers for selling fake kona coffee. The lawsuit claims that the average retail price for green Kona beans was $20 to $22 per pound in 1996. As Bill Donahue of Law360 explains, under U.S. law, a group of food producers can register a “certification mark” for a protected geographical term and limit the use of it to products that meet certain standards. Some Kona coffee farmers are suing Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and others for violating federal law by selling coffee under the name “Kona.” The case … Companies producing or selling those 19 brands are the targets of the lawsuit, though the complaint said more defendants could be added as testing continues. Cecilia Fan with Amazon said the company won’t be commenting. The 19 defendants in this action include mega retailers Amazon, Walmart, and Costco, as well as several smaller coffee sellers. The lawsuit claims that Kona coffee farmers produce 2.7 million pounds of green beans a year but that more than 20 million pounds of coffee labeled as Kona is sold at retail. Bogus Kona coffee also leads to consumers not appreciating the unique characteristics of real Kona coffee and thus hurts the brand and farmers, the plaintiffs said. Vacation, right? Much of the coffee sold nationally as Kona fails a laboratory test for what the growers say are the telltale chemical signatures of the real stuff. Amazon, Walmart, Costco Sued Over Fake 'Kona' Coffee Law360 (February 28, 2019, 4:25 PM EST) -- A group of Hawaiian coffee growers launched a class action … Recyclable Single Serve Medium Dark Roast Kona Coffee Pods – 100% Arabica Coffee California Roasted, Dark Roast Kona K Cups Compatible Including 2.0. Twenty-one major retailers including Walmart, Safeway and Costco are named in the lawsuit by the farmers who said that the sellers “wrongfully profited” from ordinary coffee. All rights. 75-5580 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. The list of defendants includes Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Safeway, and Kroger, along with producers like Maui Coffee Co (Hawaii), Magnum Coffee Roastery (Michigan), and Copper Moon Coffee (Indiana). 3) The lawsuit makes some other claims that show they are pretty ignorant of the market for Kona and the broader coffee business as a whole. According to Andrew Gomes, Karr Tuttle Campbell plans to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers who bought allegedly counterfeit Kona coffee. By comparison, a larger 12-ounce bag of Colombian coffee can cost $7. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 | Results found 19 brands of either blended or 100 percent Kona coffee that lack chemical elements in concentrations that should be in Kona coffee, suggesting that no Kona coffee or only “trace” amounts are in the products, the complaint said. Kona Blend Coffee, Medium Roast (Whole Bean), $12 for two pounds. Producers including Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Ltd. are also among those named in the suit. 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