New company to take over pineapple operations
POSTED: December 31, 2009
The newly formed Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Ltd. announced today it would immediately take over 1,000 acres and related facilities from Maui Pineapple Co., under an agreement signed Thursday with Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
The new company’s first day of work will be Saturday, when employees will start picking Maui Gold fruit, said Doug Schenk, one of the six local partners in the venture.
Maui Pine’s last harvest was Dec. 23. The company had announced it was leaving the business earlier this year after recording continuous, large losses.
The owners and directors of the new venture are Pardee Erdman, owner of Ulupalakua Ranch; Schenk, Doug MacCluer and Ed Chenchin, all retired Maui Pine managers; and two men who were operating directors of Maui Pine until it closed, Strand and Rudy Balala.
Haliimaile Pine has licensed and purchased assets notably the Maui Gold patented variety and leased land, equipment and buildings from Maui Pine.
Haliimaile Pine will do its own marketing, targeting local retailers, hotels and restaurants.
Darren Strand, president of the new company and a former Maui Pine manager, said in a statement, "We are proud to continue the 100-year legacy of pineapple on Maui. Haliimaile Pineapple Co. brings new hope for a new year by immediately saving 65 agricultural jobs with an expectation of adding more in the future."
Warren Haruki, chairman and interim chief executive officer of ML&P, said in a statement, "We are gratified to see the continuation of pineapple farming on Maui. The new company’s simplified business model and targeted local market, along with the flexibility and cooperation of the ILWU, are key ingredients for their future success. ML&P is committed to doing all we can to help Haliimaile Pineapple Company succeed."
For more information, see Friday’s edition of The Maui News.