From Maui Brewing: Protect Local Beer with Truth in Labeling! (HB 1126 HD1)
Craft or Crafty? This is a question many craft beer drinkers are beginning to ask. Please check out the following email from our friend and advocate Doug Lamerson and learn more about how you can help Hawaiian-Made craft beers stay craft by supporting House Bill 1126 HD1!
HB1126 HD1, the “truth in labeling” bill for Hawai’i beer, which would require beers sold or distributed in the State whose labels convey the impression that the beers were produced in Hawaii to indicate otherwise if not actually produced in the State, is scheduled to be heard by the House committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The bill has already passed out of the committee on Economic Development & Business. Support in the CPC committee is essential to the bill being referred to the full House for consideration. If you support the idea that the integrity of the “Made in Hawai’i” ethos should be maintained, particularly with respect to beer, please submit a few lines of testimony in support of HB1126 HD1.
Testimony can be submitted via this link to the legislature’s on-line system:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1126&year=2013 or, to the CPC committee directly via this e-address: [email protected]
Below is testimony submitted by Tom Kerns of Big Island Brewhaus which you may find helpful in summarizing your own talking points:
Aloha Honorable Legislators,
I am writing in support of HB 1126; a bill that deems to take confusion out of the marketplace of beer industry labeling. We feel that if a beer is to be considered “Hawaiian” that it must indeed be brewed and packaged 100% in the State of Hawaii. The common practice of brewing elsewhere by a brewer of Hawaiian origin or otherwise and then labeling said beer without indication of actual origin of manufacture can and does promote confusion to consumers as to its actual origin. Consumers actually value locally made products for several reasons including: supporting local businesses and families, quality and freshness versus a product made more than 2,000 miles away and then shipped potentially compromising quality or character of a food or agricultural product. The challenge is similar with other agricultural as well as locally made products.
The value of creating a product locally using many local resources including but not limited to water, power, shipping, agriculture, and other related Hawaiian businesses costs more and yet supports the State’s economy in a broad way. A company that is allowed to create a product posing as locally made when not in fact made locally can save the inherent higher costs of local production while selling a product that is actually not “Hawaiian” and does not support the economy of the State in the same manner a locally brewed beer does. A label requiring actual origin of brewing/production and packaging should be required to help preserve the appellation of “Made in Hawaii” and encourage a quality based Hawaiian brewing industry to continue to flourish. Craft beer consumers are discriminating enough to want to read the labels for this type of information. If “truthful origin labeling” is not required integrity suffers and consumers will be denied access to truthful, valuable information about the product.
We started our restaurant a few years ago. A small but good Mexican restaurant with hopes to evolve into a brewpub. 2012 was our 1st full year of production. Our brewpub produced 550 barrels (17,050 gallons). We plan on adding bottling to our venture to help us reach a larger consumer market throughout Hawaii. We predict our production to at least triple in 2013 and grow the same in years to come as our bottling is embraced in Hawaii. We had 7 employees in 2008 and now employ 17 with an eye on expansion. Our focus is a high quality locally made specialty product that appeals to a growing number of craft beer aficionados. Our product is priced accordingly and is generally not considered an alcohol risk like cheaper national brands. Our craft deserves protection on labels to protect factual information about craft beer for consumers and potential consumers. This equates to responsible appreciation and growth of a value added product made in Hawaii supporting many local businesses, farmers, fishermen, and ranchers.
Thank-you for your support,
Maui Brewing Co.