What would Hawaii be without pineapple?
Recently I picked up a copy of Hawai’i Magazine while I had some time to kill. It had an article about the Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, Ltd. saving pineapple production on the island of Maui. For most people, this would be of passing interest. For me, it was like Christmas all over again.
I’ve worked the pineapple fields of Maui Land and Pine. I still remember where I was when I learned that the company was ceasing its pineapple operation. It was a very sad day. Hawaii and pineapple are forever associated with a really special time in my life. As I get older, I recognize that while some things may not be 100% perfect for the bottom line, they are worth preserving to maintain our connection to our roots. Hawaii pineapple is one of those worthy endeavors. Continue reading
BY RON YOUNGBLOOD
Doug Schenk met the visitors with the kind of smile that radiates from a father showing off his newborn. In the background, Hali’imaile Pineapple Co. employees ate lunch after polishing off the morning’s work two hours ahead of schedule.
At the door of the old parts warehouse, two men who look younger than their years stood in dirty boots and T-shirts.
“These are the guys who run the operation,” Schenk said with affection. The company president is Darren Strand. Rudy Balala is the vice president. They are also partners in the farm, along with Schenk and Doug MacCluer. All are Maui Land & Pineapple Co. veterans. The other partners are Pardee Erdman and Ed Chenchin.
The aroma of plate lunches wafted out of the tin-sided warehouse. In the back of the picnic tables there’s a conference table.
“We meet every Monday to decide that week’s goals,” Strand said.
“All of our employees asked to come to work for Hali’imaile,” Schenk said. All were part of the work force when Maui Pine closed down Dec. 31, 2009. “We were still working out the details (of leasing ML&P equipment and fields) on the last day of the year. We took New Year’s Day off and were on the job the next day.”
“We’ve got the greatest people in the world,” Schenk said. “There’s no division of labor. Everyone does everything.” Continue reading
Purfresh Outperforms Traditional Chemicals and Maintains the Quality Consumers Have Come to Expect from Maui Gold Pineapples
FREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Purfresh, a provider of clean technologies that purify, protect, and preserve our food and water, today announced that Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, previously known as the Maui Pineapple Company, has integrated Purfresh® Cold Storage and Purfresh Wash in their new packing facility. The intelligent atmosphere and disinfectant solutions from Purfresh combine clean, state-of-the-art ozone-based technology with web-based informatics to preserve quality and extend the shelf life of Maui Gold pineapples.“We’re focused on delivering high-quality pineapples to our customers, and Purfresh’s clean solutions have been instrumental in eliminating mold and reducing chemical use in our operations,” said Mr. Brian Igersheim, director of quality control for Hali’imaile Pineapple Company. “With Purfresh, we replaced chlorine with ozone, have eliminated all shell and crown mold, and haven’t experienced any customer rejections as a result of decay since we implemented the systems. In addition, because ozone is certified for use on organic produce, we’re able to run our conventional and organic pineapples on the same line.”
PUKALANI – Just a half year into its existence, Hali’imaile Pineapple Co. is operating "in the black" and hiring more employees, said Doug MacCluer, part owner of the company and a member of its board of directors.
"It’s manini, but we’re showing a profit," MacCluer said Thursday evening after providing an update on the company during a meeting of the Governor’s Council of Neighbor Island Advisors for Maui at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center.
The company is filling a void left by Maui Pineapple Co., which closed and laid off 285 employees Dec. 31, after sustaining multimillion-dollar losses. As recently as 2008, Maui Pine employed 659 workers.
"We thought we could straighten out a big mess, and it was a big mess," MacCluer said.
So far, Hali’imaile Pineapple has generated $3.2 million in revenue – before taxes and farmland rents to Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
Most of the revenue has gone to Hali’imaile Pineapple employees, who belong to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, MacCluer said.
I stopped by to see the operations at Hali’imaile Pineapple Co., home of the famous Maui Gold pineapples.