It was great to see this bit of good news in the New Year’s Day’s edition of the Honolulu Advertiser: Hawaii execs step in to keep Maui Gold pineapple growing.
For years, we’ve seen the steady erosion of the commercial operations of those two stand-bys of Hawaiian agriculture – pineapple & sugar; so much so that, today, there’s almost none left. It’s entirely understandable – high labor and land costs make the likelihood of turning a profit increasingly difficult.
What’s interesting about this latest venture is the new owners’ strategy – to market the pineapples almost exclusively in Hawaii.
“Schenk said the new company plans to focus on the local market, selling about 90 percent of its harvest in Hawai’i. Haliimaile will supply fresh fruit to local hotels, restaurants and supermarkets while increasing its direct-to-consumer business.”
“That’s a different business strategy from that of Maui Pineapple Co., which exported some of its fruit to the West Coast where it had to compete with cheaper imports from Central America.”
We hope that this is the sign of a new trend – preserving Hawaii’s agricultural heritage and at the same time reducing Hawaii’s dependence on imported food.