On Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 8:30 am – 5 pm, Island X Hawaii / Old Sugar Mill Brand Coffee & Chocolate will host a celebration of North Shore grown coffee, cacao, produce, food, art, film, music, and surf industry manufacturing at an open house exhibition in the Old Sugar Mill, Waialua.
The North Shore town of Waialua was once a bustling sugar mill town producing what locals said was the “World’s Best Sugar” but in 1996 the Waialua Sugar Mill stopped production and closed its gates after over a 100 years of operation. In recent years, however, there has been a quiet resurgence of shops, businesses, and local product manufacturing that has helped transform the Old Waialua Sugar Mill into one of Oahu’s newest visitor destinations. The mill is also the processing site of Waialua Coffee and Cacao / Dole. Free mini tours of the coffee and chocolate mill as well as free Waialua Coffee samples are offered daily at Island X Hawaii. Come join us on Saturday, April 23rd, for a gathering of local art, food, music, and community groups and to celebrate the rebirth of the Old Historic Waialua Sugar Mill town.
It was a chocolate lovers dream come true Saturday the at Dole Cannery.
Chocolate of all kinds were featured at the Hawaii Chocolate Festival.
From chocolate fountains and candy, to the more unusual chocolate lotion and even vodka.
The Hawaii Chocolate Festival had it all.
“We’re the only state in the United States growing chocolate so we kind wanted to showcase all things great here that we have chocolate,” said event coordinator Amy Hammond. “We’re hoping that Hawaii chocolate can become one of the most friendly ambassadors of aloha.”
Event organizers are hopeful that the growing cacao business in Hawaii will be a boost for the economy as well.
Derek Lanter clearly remembers his first date with the “dark side.” In 2001 he was living in Berkeley, Calif., when Scharffen Berger, the company that reputedly makes America’s finest dark chocolate, was setting up its operation there. He and a friend decided to visit Scharffen Berger’s factory for a tour and tasting.
“Having worked with coffee as a buyer and roaster for Uncommon Grounds Coffee Co., I had experience processing coffee beans and evaluating the brew made from them, but that was the first time I saw cacao beans being roasted, ground and manufactured into chocolate,” Lanter recalled.
“Scharffen Berger was using beans from Colombia, Madagascar, Ecuador, Ghana and Indonesia. We learned about the equipment and process, and tasted chocolate at different stages and in different forms, from the roasted nib to pure cacao liquor; sweet milk chocolate; and semisweet, 62 percent; bittersweet, 70 percent; and extra-dark, 85 percent chocolate. It was such a mind-opening experience!”
Today, Lanter tastes chocolate nearly every day as the sales and marketing manager for Waialua Estate, a subsidiary of Dole Food Co. that grows 20 acres of cacao and 155 acres of coffee on Oahu’s North Shore. According to Lanter, chocolate made from locally grown cacao is being favorably compared with world-renowned brands such as Amano, Amedei, Guittard and Michel Cluizel.
A developer who hopes to build 3,500 homes makai of the H-2 freeway says farmers working on the land have found another place to plant.
Bruce Barrett, executive vice president of residential operations for Castle & Cooke Hawaii, said the farmers will have an equivalent piece of land and could seek more with the landowner, Dole.
Castle & Cooke is trying to address several impacts arising from its planned community, called Koa Ridge, including the displacement of farmers.
The developer will appear before the Land Use Commission on Thursday as part of the ongoing process to receive a permit converting agricultural land to urban land.
The developer addressed some concerns about its project at a community forum on Wednesday sponsored by the Mililani Neighborhood Board and the Sierra Club.
Those two groups are intervenors against the petition, which would allow the developer to build the homes and 500,000 square feet of commercial development.
The neighborhood board plans to support the development if the Land Use Commission imposes conditions on the developer that address traffic, education, affordable housing and other impacts on the community.
The Sierra Club, however, opposes the project because it displaces farming businesses and destroys agricultural land for more homes.
By Dave Segal
Hawaii’s once-rich agricultural industry, renowned throughout the 1900s for its pineapple and sugar crops, has suffered another devastating blow.
With the last remaining sugar company hanging on by a thread, Maui Land & Pineapple Co. said yesterday it would stop planting pineapple immediately, cease all pineapple operations by the end of the year, and lay off more than 45 percent of its work force amid a companywide restructuring that repositions subsidiary Kapalua Land Co.
This is a terrible time to start importing foreign bananas due to the proposed layoffs of agricultural inspectors. The domestic crop could easily be devastated by invasive pests including banana rasp snail, red palm mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer, banana aphid and the mealybug.
Manila may agree to Washington’s proposal to allow the entry of cold climate vegetables in exchange for the export of Philippine bananas in the US.
Agriculture officials said this may be the only way to secure the approval of the US Department of Agriculture for the Philippines’ formal request to penetrate the lucrative US market for fresh bananas.
“They are asking us if they can export temperate vegetables to the Philippines. We haven’t responded yet, but the arguments will always lead to a counter-trade arrangement," said Bureau of Plant Industry director Joel Rudinas.
The US government, Rudinas said, has expressed its interest to export temperate vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus.
He said the Philippines must submit its position on the findings of the import risk assessment (IRA) conducted by the US government on Philippine bananas as a protocol in the processing of requests for fruit exports.
In its IRA last month, the USDA said Philippine bananas may be allowed entry into the US market if mitigating measures be undertaken to address the issue of the danger of potential pests.
An IRA reviews existing quarantine policy on the import of animals, plants and their products, identifies and classifies potential quarantine risks and develop policies to manage them.