The 100% Kona green coffee you get from us is certainly Fairly Traded but the FT people do not come to Kona so we do not get that marque. The FT people assume that the US, (and Hawaii is one of the 50 US States) already does things fairly– as in paying the workers a good wage, which is true. We have a dedicated US Federal Department of Agriculture too with its own set of rules.
We are also proud to be a Sustainable farm, ensuring this land can be farmed for many generations after us. We use no pesticides nor insecticides on our farm either. I believe the FT people are not as focused on that aspect.
I also think one of the most important things about us at Smithfarms is that Bob has a college (B.S.) degree in Tropical Agriculture and that makes a lot of difference because he knows theories as well as practical solutions. Our farm is happy and healthy which is not automatic with Fair Trade farms.
I just want to assure you that we are very prudent farmers, even among Kona Coffee farmers and certainly amongst the world’s coffee farmers. We believe our coffee is raised as carefully as it can be. We are proud of our end product and spend a lot of dedicated time on the details to get it there.
We do not sell our coffee in any retail spot. When we began 24 years ago, we figured out how we two could do it and survive. Hence this website. It’s been working for us too.
First of all, I would be interested to know what “Kona” you bought? Old beans are junk beans.They are bitter because the oils are not stable and tend to decompose. Over roasting can ruin beans. They will taste close to charcoal. A 10% Kona Blend is junk too. You can’t taste 10% Kona in a bag where the other 90% are unidentifiedwhoknowswhat beans and probably cheap and bitter to begin with.
There are so many things called Kona Coffee. Many are rip-offs. Good Kona is 100% Kona and fresh roasted. Kona is considered a mild and highly aromatic coffee. We roast our beans to a medium-dark, not burnt- also known as “just before 2nd crack”. Chocolately and yummy.
We are the farmers, my husband and I, of our 5 acre farm so we give all our customers—the farm direct price. Everyone gets the same price even our own family members.
No and for a couple of reasons. We do not have a store front- this is our house. It is just Bob and me, so we are not set-up for visitors. We live 2 miles up a semi-paved, one lane private, 4 Wheel drive road.
But don’t be discouraged, there are many farms that want visitors. Go here http://www.konacoffeefarmers.org/farmTours.asp and you’ll find over 40 farms that would love to have you. (I am the volunteer web person for the KCFA and its President for 2012-2013, so I encourage you to check out our lists.)