From May 12- May 15, 2020, kombucha brewers from all over the country came together to lobby their representatives in support of the KOMBUCHA ACT. With many states in full lock down, and Congressional staff working from home, KBI’s bi-annual hill climb looked a little bit different this year than in years passed. Normally, KBI President Hannah Crum and her team fly to Washington, alongside kombucha brewers and advocates. Hours are spent “climbing the hill”- running from building to building, meeting with Congressional Staff, and educating staff and representatives about what the heck kombucha even is.

Since the KOMBUCHA Act was introduced in 2016, KBI has attended over 180 meetings with Senate and Congressional staff, to educate lawmakers about the Kombucha industry and to drum up support for the Act. The COVID crisis threatened to cancel our critically timed May hill climb, but KBI and our brewer advocates got creative. Unable to meet with staff and representatives in person, our team set up 17 virtual meetings over video and online conferencing platforms.

Over the span of just a few days, KBI members, board members, and staff worked together to communicate the stories of how this crisis has impacted our industry and how the Act will provide stability for additional industry expansion. Away from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill, the meetings took on a more intimate, personal tone. Often, hill climbs are a rushed and hectic scene. Through the magic of the “work from home” hill climb, we were able to promote the KOMBUCHA Act, and the needs of our industry in general, to focused and interested staffers.

We shared some of the unique struggles our industry has faced over the last few months, like loss of product as well as CO2 shortages. The staffers and representatives were extremely kind, generous with their time, and responsive. As a direct result of our meetings, the KOMBUCHA Act picked up four additional co-sponsors.

We all know that kombucha brewers are a passionate, creative, and hardworking group. This May’s virtual hill climb is further proof of that, and showed that when we get creative and put in the work, big things can happen to benefit our industry!



Meetings already set up with:

  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi


If you’d like to join the meetings, or schedule a meeting with your local congressman, please email

image of the capitol bldg in washington dc

Our next Capitol Hill Climb to support the KOMBUCHA Act was originally scheduled for May 13th, 2020. However, due to the current limitations of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements, we are taking our efforts online! What does this mean for kombucha brewers across the United States? It’s now easier than ever to attend a lobbying event and exercise your fundamental rights! So fire up your computers, turn on that webcam, and let’s bring our voices (and faces) to Washington!

  • Learn the ropes of lobbying with experienced brewers
  • Have a platform to share how the current economic crisis has impacted your business
  • Advocate for your industry and business
  • Create valuable relationships with lawmakers
  • Receive hands on training from our experienced lobbying team via a one time Zoom meeting- Friday, May 8th 11am PST
  • Network with fellow brewers and activists during our virtual lobbying happy hour on Friday May 15th at 1pm PST, led by KBI president Hannah Crum
  • ** NON KBI MEMBERS also welcome to join us – We fight for your rights too!

More information about the KOMBUCHA Act and our lobbying efforts can be found on our website.  

 If you are available to join us, please contact KBI at to receive updated information as it becomes available. 

The registration form to participate can be found here.

Kombucha es un producto que se puede producir de manera segura tanto en casa como de manera comercial. Al ser un alimento tradicional fermentado, sus componentes microbianos y los ácidos orgánicos que produce aseguran que se mantenga bien preservada, incluso sin refrigeración. El papel de los alimentos fermentados precede otros tipos de tecnologías de preservación tales como refrigeración, pasteurización o conservantes químicos.

Colombia tiene una larga historia de utilizar alimentos fermentados para proveer alimentos altos en nutrientes a su población nativa. La cassava, el cacao y el maíz han sido fermentados por medio de procesos tradicionales para crear almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo, y muchas cosas más .

La kombucha es originaria de Asia y ha viajado por el mundo muchas veces donde ha disfrutado de popularidad como una bebida casera en China, Japón, Corea, Rusia, Alemania, Italia y Estados Unidos. Fue en los Estados Unidos donde la bebida salió a la venta por primera vez en 1995.

KBI responde a cada una de las preocupaciones del gobierno colombiano para demostrar que la industria comercial de kombucha tiene políticas responsables y proactivas establecidas para asegurar la seguridad de nuestros productos para todos. Sabemos que esta vibrante industria puede ofrecer una alternativa saludable tanto a los refrescos y jugos como a las bebidas energéticas llenas de químicos. Empoderar y educar a los productores de kombucha crea un ambiente donde los consumidores tienen más opciones, ofrece oportunidades económicas para más personas y genera una población más saludable, lo cual la responsabilidad del gobierno.

Kombucha Brewers International Response to INVIMA of Colombia

Kombucha is an incredibly safe product to brew at home as well as commercially. As a traditional fermented food, it’s microbial makeup and the organic acids it produces ensures that it is well preserved even without refrigeration. The role of fermented foods far precedes other types of preservation technology such as refrigeration, pasteurization or chemical preservatives.

Colombia has a long history of using fermented foods to provide nutrient dense foods for their native population. Cassava, cacao and maize have all been fermented through traditional processes to create almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo and many more. Kombucha originates in Asia and has traveled the world many times over where it has enjoyed popularity primarily as a home brewed beverage from China, Japan and Korea to Russia, Germany, Italy and the United States. It is in the US where the beverage first became available for purchase in 1995.

KBI addresses each of the concerns laid out by the Colombian government to demonstrate that the commercial kombucha industry has responsible and proactive policies in place to ensure the safety of our products for all people. We know that this vibrant industry can provide a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and juices as well as chemical laden energy drinks. Empowering and educating kombucha producers creates an environment where consumers have more choice, provides economic opportunities to more people and generates a healthier populace which reduces the burden on governments.


¿Cómo garantizar el contenido microbiológico para garantizar la ausencia de patógenos?

Con respecto a la seguridad de producción y el consumo humano, sus miles de años de historia son un testamento, ya que los humanos no consumirían recursos, tiempo o energía produciendo un alimento que los dañara. Varios estudios han demostrado que el nivel de pH y el perfil de ácido orgánico de la kombucha previene la contaminación a manos de patógenos comunes, incluyendo E. coli, salmonela, listeria, entre otros.

Los invitamos a leer nuestra hoja informativa de la industria para encontrar información adicional.

How does one ensure microbiological content to guarantee the non-presence of pathogens?

Regarding safety for production and human consumption, its thousands-year-old history is a testament, as humans would not spend resources, time or energy on producing a food that could harm them. Many research papers have demonstrated that kombucha’s unique pH level and organic acid profile prevents contamination by a host of common pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and many others.

We invite you to read our industry fact sheet for additional information.


¿Cuáles son las mejores prácticas, procesos y regulaciones que la industria utiliza para garantizar la cualidad del SCOBY?

Pueden leer las Mejores Prácticas de KBI aquí →

KBI ha trabajado con muchos gobiernos para garantizar que prácticas seguras sean utilizadas y ayudó de manera directa a los productores brasileños para establecer su Estándar de Identidad, el cual menciona algunas de las especificaciones técnicas fundamentales para la kombucha. KBI hará público su Código de Prácticas y programa de privacidad en verano del 2020.

What are the best Practices, process and controls that the industry uses to guarantee the SCOBY quality?

You may read the KBI Best Practices in Spanish here →

KBI has worked with many governments to ensure safe practices are utilized and directly assisted our Brazilian producers to establish their Standard of Identity, which lists some of the critical technical specifications for kombucha. KBI will be releasing our Code of Practice and seal program in the summer of 2020.


¿Qué características físicas o químicas son analizadas para aprobar la calidad del SCOBY?

Los miembros de KBI reciben entrenamiento para desarrollar planes HACCP para garantizar la seguridad de las prácticas de producción y demostrar un amplio conocimiento de sus procesos. Nuestros puntos críticos de control consisten en niveles de pH controlados en todo momento junto con inspecciones visuales para eliminar los cultivos que presenten moho. Al ser un organismo abundante, cualquier manifestación es visible para el ojo de inmediato ya que el moho que se produce en la kombucha es el mismo que se produce en cualquier otro alimento.

What physical or chemical characteristics are analyzed to approve the quality of the SCOBY?

KBI members receive training in how to develop HACCP plans to ensure safe brewing practices and to demonstrate full knowledge of their processes. Our critical control points consist of proper pH levels maintained at all times along with visual inspections to eliminate cultures that exhibit mold. As a hearty organism, any infestation is immediately apparent to the naked eye, as the mold that occurs on kombucha is the same as mold on any other food product.


Si el SCOBY se echa a perder, ¿qué se puede hacer para reestablecer su calidad?

Los SCOBY normalmente son organismos resistentes, y mientras tengan los nutrientes y los controles ambientales apropiados, son fáciles de cuidar. Los cultivos de moho y todo el líquido deben desecharse de inmediato. Los SCOBY pueden conseguirse por medio de proveedores comerciales o pueden crearse nuevos cultivos al trabajar con los saludables que ya se tienen.

If the SCOBY goes bad, what can be done to reestablish  SCOBY quality?

SCOBYs are generally hardy organisms, and as long as they have proper nutrients and environmental controls, they are easy to care for. Moldy cultures, along with all of the liquid, are to be disposed of immediately. SCOBYs are available for purchase from commercial suppliers, or new cultures may be cultivated by working with existing cultures that are healthy.


¿Hay documentos con las prácticas principales de la industria para detener la fermentación del alcohol?

Como se menciona en Mejores Prácticas, la kombucha cruda almacenada a la temperatura apropiada mantiene el control de calidad por más tiempo. La kombucha tradicional es fermentada, baja en alcohol sin efectos embriagantes que normalmente se consume cruda, es decir no pasteurizada, para proteger los probióticos y los nutrientes vivos y evitar que se dañen.

Que no esté pasteurizada significa que no ha sido tratada con calor ni químicos. Al seguir siendo un producto en crudo, puede experimentar leves cambios en etanol mientras el proceso de fermentación continúa dentro de la botella.

Para detener el proceso, la kombucha cruda debe mantenerse fría en todo momento para mantener la integridad del producto y prevenir la fermentación dentro de la botella.

La temperatura del almacenamiento debe mantenerse a una temperatura de 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC para alentar la fermentación de la kombucha a lo largo de la cadena de suministro.

La vida útil de la kombucha se define por la cantidad de tiempo que puede permanecer almacenada en frío antes de que los niveles de etanol sobrepasen el límite legal (que varía dependiendo de la ubicación).

Los productos que dicen ser crudos y poder almacenarse no se reconocen como estables sin evidencia complementaria empírica por parte de un laboratorio de pruebas de terceros para verificar que el nivel de etanol se mantenga dentro del límite legal de su ubicación. Productos de este tipo no existen en el mercado estadounidense ya que la kombucha cruda está sujeta a su refrigeración.

Are there documents with the industry leading practices to stop the alcoholic fermentation.

As outlined in the Best Practices, raw kombucha stored at the appropriate temperatures maintains quality control for extended periods of time. Kombucha is a traditionally fermented, low alcohol, non-intoxicating beverage that is most commonly consumed raw, meaning unpasteurized, to protect the probiotics and nutrients in a living form from being damaged.

Unpasteurized means not subject to pasteurization via heat or chemical means. As a result of remaining a raw product, it can experience slight shifts in ethanol as the fermentation process continues in the bottle.

To arrest that process, raw Kombucha must be kept cold at all times to maintain the integrity of the product and to prevent over fermentation in the bottle.

Cold storage ought to be maintained at 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC to slow the fermentation of the Kombucha throughout the supply chain.

Shelf life of Kombucha is determined by how long the product can remain in cold storage before the ethanol level goes above the prescribed legal limit (will vary based on location).

Products that claim to be both shelf-stable and raw are not currently recognized as stable without further evidence vis-a-vis shelf life testing by a third party lab to verify that the ethanol level remains within the legal limit for that location. No such products currently exist in the US marketplace as all raw Kombucha is subject to refrigeration.


¿Hay documentos donde podemos probar que la FDA ha confirmado que la kombucha es legal; que está catalogada como una comida y es segura para consumo humano?

Todos los miembros de KBI en Estados Unidos deben matricular sus instalaciones de acuerdo con la Ley contra el Bioterrorismo del 2002. Hay más de 750 marcas comerciales de kombucha en Estados Unidos nada más. Así que aunque la FDA no tiene una postura oficial en cuanto a la kombucha, claramente está enterada de la industria y lo considera un producto seguro.

Is there documentation to prove the FDA has stated that Kombucha is legal; that is catalogued as a food and save to consume by humans?

All KBI members based in the U.S. are required to enroll their facility in accordance with the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. There are more than 750 commercial kombucha brands in the United States alone. So while the FDA doesn’t have an official stance on kombucha, it is clearly aware of the industry and considers our products safe.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?

Múltiples estudios discuten los beneficios para los humanos. Aquí hay una reseña de varios estudios sobre este tema:

Are there any toxicological studies that proves that kombucha is safe for human consumption?

Numerous studies discuss its benefits for humans. Here is a review of several studies on this subject:


¿Hay estudios que prueben que mantener el nivel de pH de la kombucha debajo de 3.5 es un método aprovado para evitar los patógenos en la kombucha?

Un conocimiento básico de química puede probar que esto es verdad. Aquí hay algunos estudios adicionales que se pueden revisar:

Are there any studies that proves that maintaining the kombucha ph below 3.5 is an approved method to keep pathogens out of the kombucha?

Simple knowledge of chemistry will prove that to be true. Here are some additional studies for review:


¿Hay documentos que prueben que la kombucha no genera metanol durante el proceso de fermentación?

Ninguno de los estudios sobre la kombucha han mostrado la presencia de metanol. La producción de metanol se relaciona con la cantidad de pectinas en la hierba. El té y el azúcar no contienen pectinas y, por lo tanto, no pueden producir metanol.

Any documents that proves that kombucha does not generate methanol in the fermentation process?

None of the studies on kombucha have shown the presence of methanol. Methanol production is linked to pectin content in the wort. Tea and sugar do not contain pectin and therefore cannot produce methanol.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?
Any other document that you have that can help us in our quest to make legal kombucha in Colombia?

Entra a la base de datos de investigaciones sobre kombucha →

Access the Kombucha Research Database here to find numerous studies →


ALERTA SANITARIA Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas Alerta No. 024-2020

Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Nombre del producto: Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Registro sanitario: RSAV15I10313/RSA-004946-2017 / RSA-006687-2018 /RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Fuente de la alerta: Denuncias y acciones de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) No. Identificación interno: AA200101

Descripción del caso El Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (Invima) informa a la comunidad, que conforme a las competencias de inspección, vigilancia y control se han detectado irregularidades en relación con la siguiente declaración en alimentos: Kombucha es una bebida elaborada a partir de té endulzado y fermentado utilizando un cultivo simbiótico de bacterias y levaduras (SCOBY). En el mercado se han encontrado algunas bebidas que utilizan como ingrediente el “SCOBY”. Al cual se le atribuyen diferentes propiedades en salud, según referencias bibliográficas . Cabe anotar que el “SCOBY” es un ingrediente que no ha sido autorizado por el Invima para su uso en alimentos y bebidas. Bogotá, 19 Febrero 2020 Marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantástica”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordenada 0” y “Yogi”

Por lo anterior el Invima se permite informar a la población en general que los alimentos que se comercializan en Colombia y que contienen la expresión kombucha, presentan la siguiente situación sanitaria:

1. En relación con la autorización para comercializar alimentos a los cuales el Invima les otorgó Registro Sanitario o Notificación Sanitaria, y que están utilizando dentro de su composición el ingrediente “SCOBY” o están haciendo uso de la expresión “Kombucha”, el Invima hace claridad de lo siguiente:

a) Para el Registro Sanitario RSAV15I10313 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye las marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “alino”, en presentación comercial caja por 6, 12 y 24 unidades de 250, 330, 500 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Cohen Leiderman Flora propietaria del establecimiento de comercio o.k. kombucha, mediante acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control se evidenció que el fabricante utiliza “cultivo probiótico de Kombucha”, el cual no está aprobado en el Registro Sanitario, así como el incumplimiento del rotulado y publicidad de la bebida con té variedades, marca kombucha.

b) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-004946-2017 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “HAPPY” en presentación comercial botellas (PET o vidrio) de 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350, 500, 750, 1000 y 3780 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Drink With Purpose S.A.S, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica obtenida mediante la adición del “SCOBY” como ingrediente y, adicionalmente, el rotulado del alimento hace alusión a la expresión “kombucha”.

c) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-006687-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té”, que incluye la marca “La fantástica” en presentación comercial botellas de 200, 400, 600, 800 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es ST Agnes Brewing Company té vivo la fantástica, se evidenció que la actual dirección del fabricante no corresponde con la suministrada ante el Invima al momento de solicitar el Registro Sanitario.

d) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-005012-2017 correspondiente al alimento “Bebida con té verde y negro diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Kogui kombucha” en presentación comercial de 250 a 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es el establecimiento de comercio Koghi Products, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica, no autorizada.

e) El Registro Sanitario RSA-0007265-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida a base de agua y té”, que incluye la marca “Coordenada 0” en presentación comercial de frasco de vidrio de 10 hasta 10000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Coordenada 0 SAS, se encuentra suspendido.

f) Para la Notificación Sanitaria NSA-005392-2018 correspondiente al alimento “Infusiones de té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Yogi” en presentación comercial bolsas de té y cuyo fabricante es “East West Tea Company” (Estados Unidos) e importado a Colombia por Green Tradings S.A.S., se evidenció que la dirección suministrada ante el Invima por el importador corresponde a un domicilio del cual se desconoce el tipo de actividad comercial allí realizada.

2. Respecto a la vigilancia de la publicidad en diferentes medios, el Invima identificó que en algunas páginas de internet se promocionan alimentos que utilizan la expresión Kombucha, declarando propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas, lo que conlleva al incumplimiento de la legislación sanitaria vigente (artículos 272 y 274 de la ley 9 de 1979 y la resolución 5109 de 2005 – artículos 4 y 5). Se enlistan algunas de las páginas de internet en donde se ha identificado este tipo de publicidad:



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De acuerdo con lo descrito anteriormente, el Invima advierte que los productos relacionados no cumplen con la normatividad sanitaria y por lo tanto no están autorizados para su comercialización, razón por la cual, se están adelantando las actuaciones administrativas para verificar las condiciones de los registros sanitarios y las declaraciones de los ingredientes de cada uno de los productos. Medidas para la comunidad en general Considerando lo anterior, tenga en cuenta los siguientes aspectos: 1. Absténgase de adquirir y consumir los alimentos que listen o hagan alusión a las expresiones “Kombucha” o “SCOBY”, u otros que existan en el mercado, tengan o no Registro Sanitario, y que utilicen en su rótulo palabras asociadas a las expresiones anteriormente descritas. 2. Informe de manera inmediata al Invima, o a las Entidades Territoriales de Salud, si tiene conocimiento de lugares donde se elaboren, distribuyan o comercialicen alimentos que listen dentro de sus ingredientes “SCOBY” o que declaren en su denominación la expresión “Kombucha”.

Medidas para secretarías de salud departamentales, distritales y municipales Categoría Especial, I, II y III:

1. Realizar las actividades de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) en los establecimientos donde potencialmente puedan comercializarse los alimentos citados, verificando la existencia de productos que declaren las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” en su rotulado o etiquetado.

2. Durante las actividades de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) verificar si existe publicidad de alimentos que incluyan las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” y su relación con propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas.

3. Comunicar al Invima los resultados de las acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) a los correos y, en caso de evidenciar uno o más de los incumplimientos referidos. Si desea obtener mayor información comuníquese con el Invima a: o al teléfono 294 8700, extensiones 3844 y 3846 – Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas. Igualmente se podrán realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias: Consultar registros sanitarios: En los siguientes enlaces podrá acceder directamente a la información de su interés en la página web del Invima. Realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias Consultar registros sanitarios Realizar reportes en línea de eventos adversos  Farmacovigilancia Reactivovigilancia Tecnovigilancia


HEALTH ALERT Food and Beverage Department Alert No. 024-2020

Foods that are marketed  with the expression “Kombucha”

Product name: Foods that are marketed with the expression “Kombucha”

Sanitary record: RSAV15I10313 / RSA-004946-2017 / RSA- 006687-2018 / RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Source of alert: Complaints and actions of inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) No. Internal identification: AA200101

Description of the case The National Institute of Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima) informs the community that, according to the inspection, surveillance and control powers, irregularities have been detected in relation to the following food declaration: Kombucha is a beverage made from sweetened and fermented tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY). In the market some drinks have been found that use the “SCOBY” as an ingredient. To which different health properties are attributed, according to bibliographic references. It should be noted that the “SCOBY” is an ingredient that has not been authorized by the Invima for use in food and beverages. Bogotá, February 19, 2020 Marks “ok kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantastic”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordinate 0” and “Yogi”

By the above the Invima is allowed to inform the general population that the foods that are sold in Colombia and that contain the expression kombucha, present the following sanitary situation:

1. In relation to the authorization to commercialize foods to which the Invima granted them Sanitary Registry or Sanitary Notification, and that they are using the ingredient “SCOBY” within their composition or are making use of the expression “Kombucha”, the Invima makes clear of the following:

a) For the Sanitary Registry RSAV15I10313 corresponding to the food “drink with different varieties of tea ”, which includes the brands“ ok kombucha ”,“ alino ”, in commercial presentation box for 6, 12 and 24 units of 250, 330, 500 and 1000 milliliters, and whose factory before Cohen Leiderman Flora owns the ok kombucha trade establishment, through Inspection, Surveillance and Control actions it was evidenced that the manufacturer uses “Kombucha probiotic culture”, which is not approved in the Sanitary Registry, as well as the breach of the labeling and advertising of the beverage with tea varieties, Kombucha brand.

b) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-004946-2017 corresponding to the food “drink with tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “HAPPY” in commercial presentation bottles (PET or glass) of 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350 , 500, 750, 1000 and 3780 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Drink With Purpose SAS, it was evidenced that alcoholic fermentation was obtained in the food manufacturing process obtained by adding “SCOBY” as an ingredient and, additionally, the labeling of the food refers to the expression “kombucha”.

c) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-006687-2018 corresponding to the food “drink with tea”, which includes the brand “The fantastic” in commercial presentation bottles of 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is ST Agnes Brewing Company live the fantastic, it was evident that the current address of the manufacturer does not correspond to that supplied before the Invima at the time of requesting the Sanitary Registry.

d) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-005012-2017 corresponding to the food “Drink with green and black tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “Kogui kombucha” in commercial presentation of 250 to 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is the establishment of commerce Koghi Products, it was evidenced that in the process of manufacturing the food alcoholic fermentation was taking place, not authorized.

e) The Sanitary Registry RSA-0007265-2018 corresponding to the food “drink based on water and tea”, which includes the brand “Coordinate 0” in commercial presentation of glass jar of 10 up to 10,000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Coordinate 0 SAS, is suspended.

f) For the Sanitary Notification NSA-005392-2018 corresponding to the food “Tea infusions different varieties”, which includes the brand “Yogi” in commercial presentation of tea bags and whose manufacturer is “East West Tea Company” (United States) and Imported to Colombia by Green Tradings SAS, it was evidenced that the address supplied to the Invima by the importer corresponds to a domicile whose type of commercial activity is unknown.

2. Regarding the surveillance of advertising in different media, Invima identified that in some websites, foods that use the expression Kombucha are promoted, declaring health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic, which leads to non-compliance with current health legislation (articles 272 and 274 of law 9 of 1979 and resolution 5109 of 2005 – articles 4 and 5). Some of the websites where this type of advertising has been identified are listed:



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As described above, Invima warns that the related products do not comply with sanitary regulations and therefore are not authorized for marketing, which is why, administrative actions are being carried out to verify the conditions of the sanitary records and the declarations of the ingredients of each of the products.

Measures for the community in general considering the above, consider the following aspects:

1. Refrain from acquiring and consuming the foods you listen to or make reference to the expressions “Kombucha” or “SCOBY”, or others that exist in the market, whether or not they have a Sanitary Registry, and that use words associated with the expressions described above on their label.

2. Immediately inform Invima, or the Territorial Health Entities, if you are aware of places where food is prepared, distributed or marketed within the “SCOBY” ingredients or that declares the expression “Kombucha” in its name.

Measures for departmental, district and municipal health secretariats Special Category, I, II and III:

1. Carry out inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) activities in establishments where the aforementioned foods can potentially be marketed, verifying the existence of products that declare the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” in their labeling or labeling.

2. During the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) activities, verify whether there is food advertising that includes the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” and its relation to health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic.

3. Communicate to Invima the results of the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) actions to the emails and, in case of evidencing one or more of the aforementioned breaches. If you would like more information, please contact the Invima at: or by phone 294 8700, extensions 3844 and 3846 – Food and Beverage Department. Likewise, requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions may be made: Consult health records: : 8082 / Queries / consultations / consreg_encabcum.jsp In the following links you can directly access the information of your interest on the Invima website. Make requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions Consult health records Make online reports of adverse events  Pharmacovigilance Reagent Surveillance Tecnovigilancia


Kombucha Brewer Resources & Strategies in the Time OF COVID-19 Webinar

Presented By:

Katherine Florman
Director of Human Resources for MAG Group

Dave Ransom
Attorney and lobbyist for the kombucha brewers industry, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Erica Stocker
Public Policy Advisor, McDermott Will & Emery LLP


Join us for a webinar led by HR professional, Katherine Florman, lobbyist, Dave Ransom, and Public Policy Advisor, Erica Stocker to discuss the HR and legal ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This webinar will compare stats and trends across regions, address kombucha’s status as an essential business, identify HR priorities for appropriately addressing our employees and customers, and look at how current and upcoming policy decisions may affect our brewers.  We’ll also check-in with our brewers to see how we are weathering the storm and exchange stories and ideas for remaining productive.


  • Ways to take care of yourself and your employees.
  • A list of employment policies and procedures to create or review
  • How employees and small businesses can access available aid and stimulus resources
  • How does kombucha qualify as an “essential business?”
  • What policies have been enacted (or are being considered) that may help kombucha businesses?
  • Ideas for pivoting your business model to retain/maximize sales 
  • Links to informational and template resources
  • And much more!

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members & Non-Members

BONUS – Post webinar discussion on how different brands are pivoting or collaborating to ensure customers have access to the foods they need. Skip to the end for the conversation.


April 1st 1:00pm PST


DATE: April 1st, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Non-Members
Have questions? Please send in advance to

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

Here are some additional resources and websites to monitor for safety tips and updates. Stay safe & healthy!

Coronavirus: Tips for Self-Protection. Be cautious, but don't panic! Prevention is similar to avoiding other illnesses.

Please sign up here to stay in the loop for KKON and all Kombucha industry-related news.

General Information

Draft Kombucha and Taproom Information

Kombucha Brewery Facility Information

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 Control and Prevention
  • FDA briefing to food stakeholders:
    • There has been NO evidence of the transmission of the Coronavirus from food or food packaging.
    • Food products do not have to be placed on-hold or recalled if an employee at a food facility is diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Personal hygiene, as well as facility, equipment, and utensil cleaning and sanitization procedures that are required in GMPs, are expected to still be appropriate amid this crisis.
    • Now routine domestic inspections will also be postponed and only “mission-critical” inspections will be conducted as necessary in cases where there is Class I Recall, a foodborne outbreak, or COVID-19 related situation.
    • Ensuring a continuous supply of safe food is a critical factor for the US and the FDA and Department of Homeland Security are working together to ensure that is the case. Food facilities involved in this supply, are therefore not subject to the quarantine and shelter in place orders and any issues with this should be addressed to the latter and FEMA.

Small Business Assistance 

Essential Businesses
The definition may vary according to your local ordinance. These businesses may carry your products and/or your facility may be able to offer to pick up or delivery. 

  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets,  farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks,  convenience stores,  and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).  This  includes  stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and  products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences”
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out – social distancing measures must be practiced
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences

International Information

Join the conversation in the KBI Members Forum

Guidance for Travelers

“Essential Travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements
Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations

Travelers are encouraged to always exercise healthy travel habits when traveling and to follow guidance issued by official sources of public health information.

Are we missing a vital resource? Please send your link to so we can share them here.

Michigan, despite previously stating that kombucha was not covered by its bottle bill laws, has now determined that kombucha is a non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage and is subject to the bottle bill laws. Pursuant to a press release issued by the Michigan Dept. of Treasury, companies have until May 1, 2020, to get in compliance. After that, retailers must collect deposits and kombucha containers not marked with deposit information would be considered non-compliant.

The Department is cognizant that retailers and manufacturers may have relied upon its previous informal guidance that kombucha products were not subject to the bottle deposit law. Accordingly, retailers and manufacturers must begin complying with the Department’s determination no later than May 1, 2020. After that date, all parties in the distribution chain must begin collecting and refunding deposits on kombucha containers, as they do for other nonalcoholic carbonated beverages, and kombucha containers that are not marked with the required deposit information may not validly be sold in the state.

You can read the full notice here.


Where can I find information about proper labeling of beverage containers?”

‘MCL Section 445.572(7) states: “Each beverage container sold or offered for sale by a dealer within this state shall clearly indicate by embossing or by a stamp, a label, or other method securely affixed to the beverage container, the refund value of the container and the name of this state.” For more information, contact Mr. Kenneth Wozniak, Michigan Liquor Control Commission, at 517-322-5900 or 517-322-1140.’


By Dave Ransom of McDermott, Will & Emery

Late in December, right before the holidays, the U.S. Congress did what it often does: At the literal 11th hour, Congress passed legislation that will fund the operations of the federal government through September 30, 2020.

Had Congress failed to pass these appropriations bills (or had President Trump refused or declined to sign them into law), the federal government (or big parts of it) would have shut down due to a lack of funding.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans wanted that this year. Instead, the leaders in each party, and the President, cooperated and negotiated on these bills. And now, the federal government will continue to operate.

Everyone in Washington, D.C., knows that these so-called “omnibus” appropriations bills (where several funding bills are packaged into one or two bills) are really nothing less than an opportunity to tuck extraneous measures that are unrelated to the underlying appropriations bills into those bills.

Predictably, that’s exactly what happened this year. That is, deep in the nearly 2,000-page “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act,” (H.R. 1865) – a bill that funds, among others, the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture – is “Division Q – Revenue Provisions.”

Division Q is where the Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) and our allies on Capitol Hill had hoped to place the “KOMBUCHA Act” (S. 926/H.R. 1961) to ensure its enactment into law.

Recall that our bipartisan bill, the KOMBUCHA Act, is non-controversial and would do one thing: It would raise the alcohol by volume (ABV) threshold for Kombucha to 1.25% ABV from the current threshold of 0.5% ABV. Today, as you know, if your Kombucha leaves the brewery at, say, 0.4% ABV but increases to above 0.5% ABV after leaving the brewery, you are subject to federal excise taxes intended for beer.

That is a patently unfair and outdated result. The Congress never intended to make Kombucha subject to federal excise taxes intended for beer. So today, KBI and our friends in Congress are trying to change the law by increasing the threshold for Kombucha to 1.25% ABV. Only Kombucha above that level (1.25%) would be subject to federal excise taxes if the KOMBUCHA Act became law.

Unfortunately, however, Congressional leaders chose to strictly limit the tax provisions included in “Division Q” to already expired or expiring tax provisions. For example, the “mine rescue team training [tax] credit” expired on December 31, 2017, nearly two full years ago. In Division Q, it was extended by simply striking the date December 31, 2017, and inserting “December 31, 2020.”

Similarly, American small craft beer brewers have enjoyed a lower federal tax rate on the beer they produce since January 1, 2018. However, that lower rate was set to expire on December 31, 2019. In Division Q of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, the 2019 date was struck and in its place was inserted, “December 31, 2020.”

Small, craft beer brewers – who have been arguing to make the lower tax rate permanent – will enjoy the lower rate for at least one more year. Something (a one-year extension of lower rates) is better than nothing.

And so it went in “Division Q – Revenue Provisions.” KBI and our allies had hoped that Congressional leaders would be open to including additional, non-controversial provisions in that section of the bill. They did that in 2015 when Congress passed the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.” For example, in the PATH Act, Congress tweaked several provisions related to hard cider.

This year, though, Congress took a much more limited approach.

Despite all this, KBI, the Kombucha industry, and our allies have real opportunities in 2020 to try to enact the KOMBUCHA Act.

Many tax provisions were left on the cutting room floor in December 2019. Chief among those is a tax change that would benefit retailers who make improvements to their property. The retailers will likely pull out the stops to try to secure passage of their provision. Likewise, there are an array of so-called “technical corrections” that were mostly just drafting errors in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Republicans, in particular, want to clean up those technical corrections.

Any effort to address a tax provision in Congress in 2020 is an opportunity for KBI to try to include the KOMBUCHA Act and secure passage of it.

In the meantime, we will be covering Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers and staff about the need for the KOMBUCHA Act and to seek their support for including it in any tax legislation considered by Congress.

We hope you will consider joining this effort in 2020 to spread the word about the growing and vibrant Kombucha industry, and the need to enact the KOMBUCHA Act.


NEXT HILL CLIMB – MAY 13th, 2020 – Washington, DC

Stay tuned for more details on how you can engage the civic process to benefit your business and industry. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to – ALL KOMBUCHA BREWERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND!

Marian Flaxman, current LGO coordinator, will be reaching out to brands in various states as part of our continued effort to educate and inform our Congresspeople & Senators about how the KOMBUCHA Act will benefit their constituents and our growing industry.

Dave Ransom will be joining us at KombuchaKon ’20 to present the latest update at the Brewery Members Meeting. Register today!


David Ransom

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

image of the capitol bldg in washington dc

Our next Capitol Hill Climb to support the KOMBUCHA Act is NEXT WEEK. This is a unique networking opportunity for ANY USA based Kombucha brewers to not only exercise their rights as US citizens but also to share quality time with fellow brewers. Here are all of the great things we do on our biannual Hill Climbs!

  • Network with fellow brewers and save money by sharing accommodations in the KBI Airbnb
  • Learn the ropes of lobbying with experienced brewers
  • Advocate for your industry
  • Create valuable relationship building skills with lawmakers
  • Join us in Washington DC on 9/25
  • Airbnb House 9/24-9/26 (leave morning of 9/26)
  • Dinner 9/24 & post lobbying meetup at The Dubliner 9/25, leave the morning of 9/26
  • Specifically looking for companies from Maine, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Florida and anyone who is close enough to drive in from New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, or any other eastern seaboard state to join us –
  • ** NON KBI MEMBERS also welcome to join us – We fight for your rights too!

More information about the KOMBUCHA Act and our lobbying efforts can be found on our website.  

 If you are available to join us, please contact KBI at to receive updated information as it becomes available. 

We are booking an Airbnb that will be located near the Congressional offices, so please let us asap then if you would like to stay with us. The final cost is a LOT less expensive than renting a hotel room and allows all of us to share space, break bread and have fun!


We had a productive Hill Climb in DC! We had nine brands from six different states gathered in Washington DC to exercise their rights and educate lawmakers about the KOMBUCHA Act. We attended a total of 19 meetings with members of the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways & Means Committee as well as with Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Stay tuned to your email box as we will be asking Kombucha brewers across the nation to sign letters exhorting their Congresspeople & Senators to support our legislation. If you’d like to volunteer to be the lead member in your state or district, please email for more details.

Check out our lobbying resources here. KBI Members can view lobbying training videos and learn more about the Act here.









Thanks again to:

BABA’s Brew, Olga Sorzano, PA

Craft Kombucha, Tanya Mangiyo, DC

Friend of Kombucha, Marian Flaxman, DC

GT’s Kombucha, Rick Martin, CA

Health-Ade, Amelia Winslow, CA

Hex Ferments, Shane Carpenter, MD

High Country, Shane Dickman, CO

Katboocha, Kat Schwartz, NY

Pilot Kombucha, Alex Ingalls, NY


Based on the rules put forth by the FDA effective July 26, 2016, commercial Kombucha producers in the United States are required to indicate the sugar they add to the fermentation process as “Added Sugars.” However, the amount required to put on the label is AFTER fermentation has occurred.

To be in compliance with this rule, it is advised that Kombucha producers in the United States submit their products to a third party lab for sugar testing.

Clear records and scientific documentation that demonstrate the accurate amount of sugar grams in the final products along with a narrative of why the amount is different than the starting sugar are required to be kept on file.

Any Kombucha producer that adds juice concentrate, sugar or sugar substitutes to their final product would need to also include that information as part of the “Added Sugars” amount on the label.


  • The amount of sugars present must be declared as both TOTAL and ADDED sugars (21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(iii)).
  • Added sugars may not exceed the Total sugars amount listed on the label.
  • Added sugars = the amount of sugar remaining in the product AFTER fermentation.
  • Clear documentation and narrative are kept on file and provided upon request.
  • Any other sugars added in the flavoring stage are also to be included as ADDED SUGAR 
    • sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides) (this would included fructose, sucrose, and glucose)
    • sugars from syrups and honey
    • sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice of the same type


  • 15g of sugar are measured in the sweet tea substrate before fermentation
  • The product is tested after fermentation and has reduced to 12g of sugar
  • The label now reads:
    • Total Sugar 12g
    • Added Sugar 12g

The new rules put forth by the FDA regarding added sugars are listed here for reference (important details bolded by KBI):

  • Requiring the declaration of the gram amount of “added sugars” in a serving of a product, establishing a Daily Reference Value (DRV), and requiring the percent Daily Value (DV) declaration for added sugars;
  • Changing “Sugars” to “Total Sugars” and requiring that “Includes `X’ g Added Sugars” be indented and declared directly below “Total Sugars” on the label;
  • The rule requires a manufacturer with sugars added before and during the fermentation process to make and keep records of added sugars necessary to determine the amount of added sugars present in the finished food. The rule requires manufacturers of such foods to make and keep records of all relevant scientific data and information relied upon by the manufacturer that demonstrates the amount of added sugars in the food after fermentation and a narrative explaining why the data and information are sufficient to demonstrate the amount of added sugars declared in the finished food, provided the data and information used is specific to the type of fermented food manufactured.
  • Establishing a compliance date of 2 years after the final rule’s effective date (7/26/16), except that manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have a compliance date of 3 years after the final rule’s effective date. (For more details, see part III.)


January 1, 2020, for Manufacturers with $10 Million in sales and January 1, 2021, for Manufacturers with less than $10 Million in sales.

Example of where Added Sugars to be noted on label:


Kombucha is a traditionally fermented beverage made of tea, sugar and SCOBY. Throughout the fermentation process, the sugar added at the beginning is consumed by the microorganisms in the SCOBY and is reduced over time in two ways. Cane sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide. Initially, the yeast split the sugar molecule into its monosaccharide components, fructose and glucose. Primarily, this results in a lower glycemic impact to the consumer because the complex carbohydrates are broken down into simpler sugars. Secondarily, the amount of sugar remaining is also reduced the longer the fermentation continues. The byproducts of this process are converted into organic acids giving Kombucha is unique flavor and properties.


In an effort to provide additional time to comply with the new Nutrition Facts Panel and Supplement Facts Panel regulations, FDA has announced that, for the first six months following the January 1, 2020 compliance date, FDA plans to work cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new requirements and will not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements. For more information, go to



Help Your Patients Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Cut Down on Added Sugars


Rev.120617 Approved KBI Board December 2017

Updated 022218 to clarify types of sugars that need to be classified as “Added Sugar”

Updated 080719 to list example and clarify Added Sugars may not exceed Total Sugars on label 

Update 102919 to add Nutrition Facts Panel and Supplement Facts Panel regulations



Municipalities are eager to find new ways to fund their operations and programs. Lately it has been popular to enact a “sugar tax” on non-alcoholic beverages that exceed whatever threshold the municipality has deemed as acceptable. There is a long history of enacting “sin taxes” on products that are perceived or proven to have a negative impact on the health of consumers in an attempt to limit their behavior.

Kombucha is a traditional fermented beverage made from tea and sugar. During the fermentation process, most of the sugars are consumed by the microorganisms present in the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) and converted into trace amounts of ethanol and organic acids. Each producer has their own fermentation process and method as well as their own flavor profile – some of which may skew sweeter in order to attract a certain type of consumer.

However, despite having some sugar present, the fermentation process materially changes the structure of the sugars – the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar) is broken into its monosaccharide components thus creating a lower glycemic impact. Also, the living organisms and nutrition in a living form (trace amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, etc) contribute a net positive effect to the consumer unlike comparable non-alcoholic beverages – i.e. sodas, energy drinks, juices, etc.

Moreover, many of these statutes include exemptions for products such as diet soda which, while their sugar content may be low, do contain known carcinogens. The unintended consequence is that products that are healthier end up taxed while less healthy options cost less and could influence consumer behavior in a negative way.

While KBI has been active in supporting its members who are dealing with these local statutes, ultimately, the decision whether or not to tax Kombucha falls to the cities themselves. Any taxes required are charged at the discretion of those locales and are not in any way under the purview of the Kombucha producer.


  1. Jayabalan, Rasu, et al. “A review on kombucha tea—microbiology, composition, fermentation, beneficial effects, toxicity, and tea fungus.” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 13.4 (2014): 538-550.

Rev.090617 Adopted by KBI Board Oct 2017