I stopped by to see the operations at Hali’imaile Pineapple Co., home of the famous Maui Gold pineapples.
This is a sad news post, along with a little walk down memory lane.
First of all, for those of you who don’t know, I spent many summers in Hawaii growing up, while my dad worked for a group called Youth Developmental Enterprises (YDE).
YDE would bring boys from the US mainland over to pick pineapples in Hawaii, on Lanai at first, and then on to Maui. Initially, YDE worked with Dole, but later began working with Maui Pineapple Company, now known as Maui Land & Pineapple.
My mom heard a rumor that Maui Pineapple Company was shutting down at the beginning of 2010! Just an FYI – YDE stopped working with them several years ago.
CLICK HERE for larger image
Community Pineapple Harvest—Volunteers Needed
Pineapples are ripening in the former Maui Land & Pineapple Company fields but, due to layoffs, are going unharvested. The new owners, Haliimaile Pineapple Company has offered to let volunteers for Maui non-profit Waste Not Want Not pick the fruit for the Maui community. The crop will be distributed to the Maui Food Bank and other community service organizations.
Volunteers are needed to pick the pineapples for 3 hours on Mondays and Thursdays. To volunteer, Call James Mylenek at 874-8038 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Waste Not Want Not website and click on Volunteer tab. James will then contact you with details about dates, times and locations.
Maui Land and Pineapple went out of business, Haliimaile Pineapple Company organization has hired back 65 workers but doesn’t have enough staff to pick the ripe pineapples. Instead of plowing under, agreed to let volunteers pick the fruit.
Waste Not Want Not gathers fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go unharvested and delivers them to food banks and other places that serve meals to the hungry. You can also help them win $250,000 to get unused fruit from the backyards of Hawai’i to the needy in the ‘Pepsi Refresh Project’.
I used to pick up Maui Gold pineapples at Trader Joe’s every winter. The pineapple display often had the Maui Golds placed amongst the ones from Thailand or elsewhere and I’d carefully check for the Hawaii tag. I was trying to reclaim the amazing flavor of the freshly sweet pineapple I had in Maui years ago. Sadly, Maui Land & Pineapple, Inc., who retailed as Maui Gold, shut down their pineapple production at the end of 2009. Maui Land & Pineapple was the largest grower of the fruit in Hawaii. Dole Food still has some pineapple acreage in Oahu, but has most of its production elsewhere. Del Monte harvested its last Hawaii pineapple crop in 2008. However, not all is lost as Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Ltd has stepped in and purchased or leased the Maui Pineapple assets and fields, including the Maui Gold pineapple and brand. They plan to export a small percentage to mainland retailers where Maui Gold can command a premium price (I’m thinking that might not be Trader Joe’s).
Has the announcement that Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) is completely out of agriculture the reason for it’s sudden turn away from failure? Check out the chart for the Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) stocks performance for Januay 2010:
Here is a chart for the Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) stocks performance for the week ending Januay 29, 2010.
Click Here to view the article regarding Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) being picked one of the “Double Digit Gainers Beating The Dow: MLP, OTIV” at picksthatmove.com on “No News” and wrong/dated information showing awareness of global technicians tracking computers regarding this weeks move.
CLICK HERE to view the chart showing Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) terrible performance for the last year trending downwards precariously since October towards certain and inevitable collapse until the move this week.
CLICK HERE to view the histogram chart showing Maui Land & Pineapple (MLP) embarrassing performance compared to other related stocks, etfs, etns, and indexes during the last year.
So, is this just a blip? Are investors so soured by nasty agriculture that the news that MLP won’t be getting it’s collective hands dirty in the future enough to rotate it’s stocks plunging direction towards the positive? Or have responsible management strategies brought the company back from the brink?
Growing sugarcane and pineapple is hard work, as generations of plantation and farm workers in Hawai’i can attest, but making money at it these days may be even harder. While conditions have improved in modern times for the islands’ fieldworkers, the competition from Third World countries — with different standards of living and labor laws — has also increased.
One of the latest large landowners to cry uncle is Maui Land & Pineapple, which announced Nov. 3 that its pineapple subsidiary — renowned for its "Maui Gold" brand — would cease production at the end of the year. Citing losses of $115 million since 2002, along with $20 million in expenses for a new packing facility, the announcement continued: "The painful decision to close pineapple operations at MPC after 97 years was incredibly difficult to make, but absolutely necessary. We realize this ends a significant chapter in Maui’s history — an important part of many lives, over many generations."
The company’s last harvest took place two days before Christmas, but just before New Year’s, a group of investors came up with a plan to continue operations on about 1,000 acres — a third of the former farm — under the name Haliimaile Pineapple.
SUPPORT NEW COMPANY BY BUYING PINEAPPLE
Well, it’s a new year and the first thing I would like to do is say thank you to all involved in the new Haliimaile Pineapple venture. Kudos to all for keeping this legacy alive and the jobs that go with it.
I will buy one pineapple a week, and I urge the rest of the Maui community to do so as well. We must help prove that agriculture can thrive here on Maui, so I ask all of you to join me in this.
Big mahalo to the Erdmans and everyone involved.
Just one pineapple a week: I will, will you?
Many on Maui are calling it the end of an era as Maui Land and Pineapple Company pulls the plug on pineapple production. An estimated 285 lay offs are planned by the end of the year in a move that was announced to workers Tuesday morning.
After losing $115 million in agriculture over the past seven years, company officials said market conditions have not improved and pineapple operations were no longer financially sustainable. The company plans to focus its efforts on the success of its Kapalua Resort while trying to accommodate up to 133 employees at partner companies.
The following are statements released by various political figures in the wake of the recent announcement.
The Honolulu Baking Company is the major force amongst the Star Bucks retail locations. Besides all the wonderful baked goods, they are also responsible for the delicious fresh fruit cups that we see in every location. Of course, one of the main fruits in the cup is the Maui Gold Pineapple. Executive Chef Grant Kawasaki meets Yuri McPhail for a behind the scenes tour of there facility in Kakaako.