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Lawsuit: Coffee from Hawaii not actually grown there

By Marian Johns | Mar 19, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) — A California resident has filed a class action lawsuit against Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, alleging the company uses false and deceptive packaging regarding the origination of its coffee product. 

According to a court filing in the U.S. District Court Central District of California, Michael DeArmey says Hawaiian Isles packages and advertises its coffee products as originating from the "Kona District of the Big Island of Hawaii" when they are actually made with "commodity coffee" beans grown in other locations. 

The suit says "only coffee grown on the farms located within the Kona District" can be sold as Kona coffee due to the region's volcanic soil, elevation and temperature which gives the coffee "distinctive characteristics."

DeArmey also alleges he and other consumers would have "paid significantly less" for the Kona coffee products if they had known the labeling was false. The lawsuit states the consumers "reasonably believed" the coffee was grown in the Kona region due to the product's packaging and advertising. 

The lawsuit seeks damages, restitution, declaratory and injunctive relief.

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