HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By a unanimous vote, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture has placed Waialua coffee under quarantine to control the spread of the coffee bean borer.
The order, effective Wednesday, covers all coffee grown on the Dole Foods orchards on the North Shore and all coffee roasted at the old sugar mill in Waialua.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture surveyed other small coffee farms, in Waimanalo, Maunawili, Poamoho, Kunia and Tantalus, but found them all to be clear of the borer.
The quarantine requires a permit to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from borer-infested islands to other places.
It requires treatments and inspection before shipping. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment. The coffee beans must be roasted at a facility that is at least five miles from any commercial coffee-growing area.
Dole Foods had already placed their Waialua Coffee Farm and Waialua Estate Coffee Mill under voluntary quarantine. Board Chairman Scott Enright thanked Dole for cooperating, saying, "It is critical in situations like this that the department and the industry work closely together."
The coffee bean was found in Kona in 2010 and in neighboring Ka'u in 2011, but until now has not been found on any other other island.
It is not possible to eradicate the borer, which bores tiny holes in beans to lay its eggs. It can be controlled and limited to about a fifth of the crop by using an organic pesticide and by cleaning up tree debris in which the borer can survive from season to season.