Support North Shore Agriculture and Help Keep it Country! Experience the 2011 – Fourth Annual Taste of Waialua

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.

Last JAL Kona-to-Tokyo flight lands on Big Island

KAILUA-KONA (AP) – After 14 years of serving the Big Island, financially strapped Japan Airlines has ended its flight between Tokyo and Kona International Airport.

Passengers arriving Friday on JAL Flight 70 from Narita International Airport were greeted with lei and live Hawaiian music, the Big Island Visitors Bureau said.

JAL offered the only direct international flight outside of North America to the Big Island, the bureau said. Since the inaugural Kona flight in June 1996, JAL has carried more than 980,000 visitors between Narita and Kona, it said.

”It is also a vital carrier of Big Island exports including macadamia nuts, papayas, coffee, spirulina, abalone and desalinated sea water to the Japanese market,” the bureau said in a news release.

”The JAL flight is without a doubt the most important international route for Hawaii island. The positive impact it has made on our economy for the last 14 years is highly significant, and we truly hope to welcome JAL back someday,”

Grants available for Native Hawaiian cultural programs

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is accepting funding applications for 2011 Native Hawaiian cultural and natural resources programs.

The agency announced it is seeking applications for projects that honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and community, and that strengthen the relationship between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community.

It also is seeking projects that manage, improve and protect Hawaii’s natural environment and areas frequented by visitors.

Request for proposal packets are now available at HTA’s office at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, on the agency’s website or by contacting HTA by phone.

The deadline to apply for either program is Nov. 4.

Grants available for Native Hawaiian cultural programs – Hawaii News –

Law aims to help Hawaii use its own produce | The Packer


Courtesy Hawaii House Blog  Specialty tomatoes from Hamakua Springs County Farm, Big Island.
Courtesy Hawaii House Blog Specialty tomatoes from Hamakua Springs County Farm, Big Island.
A new pilot program in Hawaii should help another 100 or so of the state’s local growers get their food into local hotels.

House Bill No. 1471 was passed into law late July and established the Food Certification Pilot program, which will be managed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, with assistance from the Hawaii Department of Health.

The program is designed to coordinate purchasing agreements between agricultural cooperatives and hotels, restaurants and other buyers in the visitor and hospitality industries, according to the bill. The pilot program should help with that by developing and implementing safe food certification for locally grown produce.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed the bill originally, saying the program “appears to be a gesture to improve food safety without the teeth necessary to make it a viable program,” according to West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority Special Fund will allocate $140,000 to establish the program. The idea is that if safe, local food is offered to local hotels and eating establishments, it could help Hawaii tourism.

Lingle argued there was no real connection to tourism. Her veto was overridden by the Legislature late July.

According to the West Hawaii Today article, only 32 of the state’s 2,000 farms are food safety certified by third-party audit. Supporters of the pilot program from the hotel and restaurant industry in Hawaii said food safety was a major concern for them, and that if good agricultural practices were followed and assured to buyers, it could make a big difference.

Law aims to help Hawaii use its own produce | The Packer