Kona Impact is located in the heart of the Kona coffee region on Hawaii Island. There are hundreds of coffee farms within a 30 minute drive of our office. Most grow their coffee conventionally: they use pesticides, herbicides and non-organic fertilizers to control bugs and weeds and help the coffee trees get vital nutrients. The use of agricultural chemicals is much lower than, for example. corn, berry crops and many other fruit crops, but they are still used quite a bit.
The simple fact is that going organic and maintaining that status is hard, very hard. Yields are lower, more workers are required to spread compost, control weeds and harvest. As a results, the costs are higher to grow organic coffee. This is true with most organic products.
The largest organic coffee farm in Hawaii is the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation in Kaloka Mauka–a high elevation farm at the northern end of the Kona coffee region. The win awards year after year because of their superior coffee and teas. Simply put, they grow and process some of the world’s finest coffee. Being techies, we are especially impressed with their color sorter which automatically scans ever bean and removes any discolored (low quality) beans before the roast.
The website we made for them at organickonacoffee.com was made with a few goals in mind. Organic Kona Coffee is a niche market and the potential buyers are likely attracted to the product for environmental and health reasons. A lot will also be “foodies”–people are very focused on food quality and taste. As such, we tried to create an earthy, organic design while understanding that the price point for the products (and quality) are high. Focusing on the coffee club at the item level was also a goal.