Recently Safeway was involved in a lawsuit with a California customer who made allegations that although Safeway labeled some coffee as a Kona blend, little of Hawaiian grown K0na coffee was actually in the blend. The lawsuit was settled, however the Kona Coffee Farmers Association has made it clear that they are unhappy with the terms of the settlement (which is undisclosed) because there are still multiple legal issues left un-addressed in regards to the labeling of the product.
The suit was filed for $5 million in 2011, which resulted in Safeway contacting Kona coffee a day later and informing them that the packaging of the coffee would be changed to show the percentage of Kona coffee actually used in the blend. The changes were made in August of 2012.
Cecelia Smith, the president of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, states that growers of Kona coffee are trying to get Hawaiian Legislature to enact the same branding protection that similarly protects Napa Valley Wine, Idaho potatoes, and Georgia Vidalia Onions.