Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Ltd. on Saturday officially stepped into the void left when Maui Land & Pineapple Co. shut down its farming operations, with crews taking to the fields for the company’s first harvest.
After helping harvesters, drivers, mechanics and other workers clock in by hand Saturday morning, Haliimaile Pine partner Doug Schenk said the company was ready to work the land.
>But he implored Hawaii shoppers to do their part to help the new venture succeed – one sweet bite at a time.
"We need the consumer to go out and buy Maui Gold," Schenk said. "We need the community and the citizenry to go out and buy this product across the state. If people don’t see it in the stores they need to ask those stores to stock Maui Gold.
"We need to get our case volume up for this to work. These are wonderful people. I love ’em. This is all about jobs and preserving open space. That’s what it’s about, buy local. We should support our local farmers."
The financially struggling ML&P announced in November that it would shut down pineapple at the end of 2009. On New Year’s Eve, officials with Haliimaile Pine said they had reached an agreement with the century-old company to take over 1,000 acres of its fields and use its equipment to continue farming.