|Po-Jung "Simon" Hsieh of Taiwan. Photo by Julia Neal|
Ka'u Coffee Education wrapped up ten days of Ka'u Coffee Festival events on Sunday, May 5, 2013, with Ka'u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Chinese coffee entrepreneur Po-jung “Simon” Hsieh talked about the history of coffee growing in Taiwan where Japanese established coffee growing during their occupation of the island. The coffee became abandoned and went wild after the Japanese left, and more recently was re-established as a new industry. Hsieh operates Soaring Phoenix Trading Co. and imports Ka'u coffee to Taiwan.
Jim Munson talked about the development of his company, Brooklyn Roasting Company. He praised the strength of the Ka'u Coffee farmers' stories and how they play to the U.S. market and appeal to U.S. consumers.
Dr. Leisha Keith, from University of Hawai'i, talked about management of the coffee berry borer that has devastated farms in Kona. She said that keeping farms and surrounding lands and gulches clean of fallen branches, coffee cherry, and cuttings is one of the most important aspects of holding back the infestations.
Other important management priorities Keith emphasized are spraying a fungus that can kill the borers in five days when the insects move around outside the young coffee beans and also setting traps so farmers can know when the coffee berry borers are invading their orchards. She said that once the pests bore into the coffee beans, the fungus spray can't reach them.