KAPALUA – Financial challenges facing Maui Land & Pineapple Co. are raising a “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the company reports in its latest filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
Among a number of disclosures in the filing, a group of lenders has declared that a $280.5 million loan for the Kapalua Bay Holdings’ construction of the The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, Kapalua Bay is in default. ML&P has invested more than $50 million in cash and $25 million in land for the development project and has 51 percent ownership in the Bay Holdings company.
“The company’s cash outlook for the next 12 months and its ability to continue to meet its financial covenants is highly dependent on selling certain real estate assets in a difficult market,” the filing says. “If the company is unable to meet its financial covenants resulting in the borrowings becoming immediately due, the company would not have sufficient liquidity to repay such outstanding borrowings.”
While the company’s future appears ominous in its SEC filing, Tim Esaki, the company’s financial officer, said Friday that company officials “remain optimistic.”
More than 1,500 pineapple growers on Friday gathered in front of the Farmer Market Centre on Petchakasem highway at Ban Auo Noi in Prachuab Khiri Khan to wait for outcome of the meeting of National Pineapple Committee.
The pineapple farmers came from Prachuab Khiri Khan, Rayong, Chonburi, Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi. They brought with them about 34 pickup trucks fully loaded with pineapples.
The pineapple farmers said the rally today was aimed at calling for the government to help settle the problem of low pineapple price, now only three baht a kilogramme.
The farmers said they would not rally at the provincial city hall but will gather at the centre until the outcome of the pineapple meeting at the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives is known.
If the meeting agreed to approve a budget of 800 million baht to buy 100,000 tonnes of pineapple out of the market to reduce supply of the fruit as proposed, the pineapple farmers would peacefully disperse. Otherwise, the rally will be intensified and the Petchkasem highway, a main route to the South, could be blocked, said the farmers.
Prachuab Khiri Khan governor Veera Sriwattanatrakul told the framers not to block the highway as it would bring about hardship to commuters.
The Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) will present the second annual Maui Ag Day with a focus on “Understanding Food Safety Certification” on Friday, Aug. 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company located at 872 Hāli‘imaile Road.
The trade show, panel discussion, tour and parking are free and open to the general public.
The day opens with the trade show and continental breakfast. At 9 a.m., the event will feature a Food Safety Certification Panel Presentation by three Maui farmers who have completed the Food Safety Certification process: Heidi Watanabe of Watanabe Processing, Geoff Haines of Pacific Produce and Brian Igersheim of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Co. At 10:30 a.m., tour of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company facilities and pineapple fields. A Grown on Maui lunch will be provided to MCFB members at 11:45 a.m.; non-members may purchase lunch.
Fighting farm theft and vandalism is getting a closer look by state officials in the wake of high-profile cases.
Tougher penalties, rural neighborhood watch and product tracking from field to vendor are among the ideas to combat a growing and troublesome trend.
Whether it’s theft of produce or vandalism on a massive scale, agricultural crime is becoming center on the state’s radar.
“It was the vandalism that really led to all of the interest, because we’ve have three incidents that we know of, so it’s kind of building,” said State Agriculture Director Russell Kokubun.
The crimes range from brazen papaya crop destruction on Oahu and the Big Island, to pineapple theft on Maui.
“We’ve had probably one or two pickups a day stolen out of 1350 acres, that’s a lot,” says Doug MacCluer of Haliimaile Pineapple Co.
HALIIMAILE – The Maui County Farm Bureau will host the second annual Maui Ag Day with a focus on understanding food safety certification from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Haliimaile Pineapple Co.
The trade show, a panel presentation on food safety, tour and parking are free. That event will be held at 872 Haliimaile Road.
A “Grown on Maui” lunch is free for Maui County Farm Bureau members. There is a fee for nonmembers.
Those planning to attend should RSVP by Wednesday. For more information, send email to warrenmcfb@hot mail.com or call 243-2290.
The U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it filed lawsuits in Hawaii and Washington state against Global Horizons Inc., a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, and eight farms, including six in Hawaii.
The agency said Global Horizons brought more than 200 men from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii and Washington, where they were subjected to severe abuse.
The EEOC contends that Global Horizons engaged in a pattern or practice of national origin and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Hundreds of additional potential claimants and witnesses are expected, the EEOC said.
The agency said the Thai workers were assigned to work at these farms in Hawaii: Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii and Maui Pineapple Farms.
The Washington state farms named in the lawsuits are Green Acre Farms and Valley Fruit Orchards.
The lawsuit follows criminal charges brought against Global Horizons last year. The U.S. government in September indicted Global Horizons owner Mordechai Yosef Orian and others with exploiting about 400 Thai workers in forced-labor conditions from May 2004 to September 2005.
Maui’s Winery is the Valley Isle’s sole commerical winery boasting a varied selection of wines including sparkling, pineapple, grape and our coveted raspberry dessert wine. With hard work, attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence, Maui’s Winery continues to be a successful and thriving agricultural business and popular visitor destination. We believe that it is our duty to be stewards of our land by producing a wine that reflects the distinctiveness of Maui.
The story of Maui’s Winery is a great story of sustainability. In 1974, in collaboration with Californian Emil Tedeschi, Ulupalakua Ranch began growing grapes, remaining true to the area’s agricultural heritage. While waiting for the grapes to mature, they decided to develop a sparkling wine made from the plentiful pineapples on Maui. A scant amount of this wine was produced, but the public response to the wine was so positive that it was decided to pursue the endeavor of making a still pineapple wine. Three years later, Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. In 1984, after years of labor and development, the first grape product was released: Maui Brut Sparkling.
Over the years, Maui’s Winery enjoyed a successful partnership with Maui Pineapple Company, obtaining juice from their pineapple operations. After Maui Pine sold its production assets to Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company in 2009, the winery was able to buy the juicing equipment and bring it to Ulupalakua. Pineapple juice is now crushed from delicious Maui Gold Fresh pineapples right here at the winery
We were poking around upcountry Maui and driving its narrow, twisting roads, but by midafternoon we had to turn around. We had an important date at a lower elevation.
Forget meeting friends for mai-tais or heading to Lahaina for the sunset. We were going to herd the animals at Surfing Goat Dairy.
Herding anything may be the last activity one considers for a Maui vacation. But the dairy is one of several island farms that have opened for public tours over the last few years. They offer the chance to explore the island’s back roads, meet the growers and learn something about the exotic fruits, vegetables and cheeses you’ll encounter and enjoy on Maui.
“It’s a growing national trend,” says Maui resident Charlene Kauhane, a board member of the Hawaii Agri-Tourism Association. “Visitors are looking for authentic experiences, for opportunities where they can meet locals and buy local.”
And sometimes, you just want a break from the beach. So let’s go down on the farm on Maui.
Alii Kula Lavender Farm
Even before you arrive, you’ll detect Alii Kula Lavender Farm from the lovely fragrance wafting over Upcountry. It comes from 45 lavender varieties planted over 10 acres in Haleakala’s foothills. You can meander over paths on your own, or join one of the walking tours. You’ll learn about lavender’s culinary uses and healthful benefits, as well as the farm’s dedication to practicing agriculture in a sustainable way.
Alii Lavender also offers workshops in wreath making and container gardens, and other special events.
A year ago, Haliimaile Pineapple Co., the employee-driven farm picked up the pieces of the failed Maui Pineapple Co., and reopened with a new name and renewed commitment to grow pineapple.
Vice President Rudy Balala confirmed, “We just finished the one year. We had some up-and-down times, but overall we’ve had good support from Hawaii customers. And our Mainland customers too, they have hung with us.”
The company employs 83 people.
Friday was an extra day for picking to accommodate a field that had ripened earlier than expected.