Rep. Clift Tsuji, Chair of the House Agriculture committee, is stepping up to help Kona coffee growers. Yesterday, the Ford Ironman World Championship organization based in Kailua-Kona announced a partnership with Ironman Organic Coffee, the official coffee of the Ironman race. The problem is that the coffee bean used hails from Guatemala, and Kona coffee growers are understandably upset. Not only were they not consulted, but the Ironman is an event that was born in and has been associated with Kona for decades, and Kona produces world-renowned premium coffee. To add insult to injury, the Ironman press release stated,
Recently founded, Ironman Organic Coffee is the creation of Ironman athletes Chris McCrary, Carlos Caicedo and Andres Caicedo. The team of friends realized the need for creating an "ideal" coffee after noticing the market was limited. "Becoming an Ironman takes time, dedication, discipline and accepting nothing, but the best from yourself. Those same characteristics go into every bag of Ironman Organic Coffee. We've spent countless hours ensuring that the beans are as strong as the brand," said McCrary.
Ouch! Rep. Tsuji has asked Ironman to provide an explanation on their java decision.