Dig farm-fresh foods? Be part of growing interest on Maui
Maui County Farm Bureau’s on a mission to honor its future leaders, cook up tours, demos and contests for Agricultural Month in September
September 25, 2011
By CARLA TRACY – Dining Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) , The Maui News
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Mauians love his ripe, juicy Kula strawberries and his sweet, round Kula onions. He’s even launching a pumpkin patch in October, complete with a corn maze or labyrinth, for those in the Halloween state of mind.
But Chauncey Monden, 38, of Kula Country Farms, is not your typical farmer.
In fact, the average age of a Maui farmer is 62.5. Before they age more and retire, we’d better get the younger generation excited about that field, or Maui’s farming lifestyle may just go the way of the dinosaurs.
“It’s a hard life,” says Monden. “With weather, bugs, water bills, taxes, rocky soil, sloped ground, farmlands being sold off, houses encroaching, dust and competition with Mexican and other farmers, it’s tough.”
“There’s a lot of regulations that are difficult to comply with, then you have to market yourself. I don’t have all of the answers. I just know, you’ve got to love it.”
This is a sad news post, along with a little walk down memory lane.
First of all, for those of you who don’t know, I spent many summers in Hawaii growing up, while my dad worked for a group called Youth Developmental Enterprises (YDE).
YDE would bring boys from the US mainland over to pick pineapples in Hawaii, on Lanai at first, and then on to Maui. Initially, YDE worked with Dole, but later began working with Maui Pineapple Company, now known as Maui Land & Pineapple.
My mom heard a rumor that Maui Pineapple Company was shutting down at the beginning of 2010! Just an FYI – YDE stopped working with them several years ago.
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KAHULUI, Hawaii–(Business Wire)– Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (NYSE:MLP) today announced that Gerard "Gerry" Watts, vice president and general manager of its agricultural subsidiary, Maui Pineapple Company Ltd., has accepted an offer to become divisional president of a multinational food company based in Southern California. His resignation from Maui Pineapple Company is effective May 9.
"We are deeply grateful to Gerry Watts for his outstanding work at Maui Pineapple Company," said David Cole, chairman, president and CEO of MLP. "Gerry has done a tremendous amount of work in cost containment and streamlining logistics and was instrumental in the development of our strategic relationship with Calavo Growers, Inc. In the three years he has been with us, he has helped to reshape pineapple strategy and operations. We wish him and his family well as they return to California."
The company is accelerating initiatives Gerry had undertaken to consolidate fresh pineapple operations at its Honolua plantation to take advantage of better growing conditions, shorter growing cycles, and lower operating costs. Robert Webber, COO, CFO & EVP of ML&P, will oversee the transition.
Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. is committed to the integration of agriculture, natural resource management and eco-effective design principles to create and manage holistic communities. ML&P’s vision of holistic communities is based on the traditional Hawaiian model of ahupua`a, a system of self-reliance based on the artful use of land and water resources to sustain island life indefinitely. ML&P is a Hawai`i corporation and successor to a business organized in 1909. Its principal operating subsidiaries are Maui Pineapple Company Ltd., a producer and marketer of Maui-grown conventional and organic pineapple and diversified produce, and Kapalua Land Company Ltd., operator of Kapalua Resort, a 22,000 acre master-planned resort community in West Maui. For more information, visit mauiland.com.
Calavo Growers is buying Hawaii Pride and Hawaiian Sweet
By Nina Wu
Calavo Growers of California has acquired papaya and tropical-product packing and processing operations on the Big Island for between $10 million and $14 million.
Calavo Growers is buying Hawaiian Sweet Inc. and Hawaii Pride LLC from Calavo’s chairman, president and CEO Lee E. Cole.
The deal gives Calavo operations that pack an estimated 65 to 70 percent of all Hawaiian-grown papayas and 80 percent of Hawaii’s exports to the mainland.
Calavo, which got its start in avocados, also acquired 3,000 acres on the Big Island, in addition to two fresh-papaya packinghouses and cooling facilities, and papaya and guava puree operations.
The acquisition comes on the heels of Calavo’s deal with Maui Pineapple Company Ltd. to sell, market and distribute its Maui Gold fresh product throughout the continental U.S. and Canada in December.
Calavo, which presently ships about 200,000 pounds of fresh papayas to the mainland per week, believes there is plenty of room for growth. Since 1949, the company has sold and marketed Hawaiian papayas, which continued after Cole’s acquisition of Hawaiian Sweet in the early 1990s.
"Calavo transitions from simply being paid a commission on its papaya sales to collecting full margin based on its ownership of the papaya and tropical-product operations," said Calavo chief operating officer Arthur J. Bruno. "We are confident that our company’s depth of financial and operational resources, along with a growing position in the tropical-produce category, can propel these acquired assets to the next level."
Bruno said the company anticipates increasing the earnings of both Hawaiian Sweet and Hawaiian Pride, including more than $8 million in tangible assets from the collective packing and processing facilities and agricultural land, he said
Maui Pineapple Company, Ltd. (MPC) is a subsidiary of Maui Land & Pineapple Company Ltd. , and is the USA?s largest grower, processor, and shipper of Hawaiian pineapples. MPC is the only producer of Maui-grown pineapples. The company was established in 1909, and is based in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. It currently cultivates and processes approximately 6,000 acres of two varieties of pineapple: extra-sweet Maui Gold? and Maui Gold Organic pineapple.
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