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March 27, 2013

Local Food Coalition Works with Diverse Partners to Grow Hawaii's Local Food System

Categories: Press Release | Food

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The Local Food Coalition (LFC) brings together farmers, ranchers, livestock producers, investors, food manufacturers and other leading organizations, who collectively manage more than 1 million acres of land, and produce the majority of food in our state. Solving our challenge of increasing the local food supply —putting more local food on local plates —can best be accomplished by bringing people and organizations together who can work on the entire food value chain in a systematic way.

The diverse members of the group —from small and large farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers, agriculture supporters, to investors —feel the initial effort is gaining momentum with widespread support for more than a dozen proposals.

Coalition proposals include critical issues related to land, water, finance, energy, market development and other key concerns that members believe will help local food gain strength.

The Coalition members also value the support of other concerned organizations in the community who recognize the vital importance of a community producing its own fresh healthy food. These include educators, related business concerns as well as public-private partner organizations with widespread concerns.

Members of the Coalition hope others in the community will join in supporting this coordinated local food effort.

Bills Still Alive (as of March 6, 2013)

Topic

House Bill

Senate Bill

Revising DLNR lease appraisals to assist agriculture

488

 

Fair compensation for agricultural lease terminations

 

5

Irrigation systems capital improvement project funding

1263

 

Special purpose revenue bonds for all agriculture

 

974

Ease state procurement of locally grown food

508

991

Exempt some ag buildings from code requirements

489

586

Expand livestock (including dairy, egg, poultry, cattle, hogs)
feed subsidy and to help develop local feed

487

593, 757

Provide general excise tax exemption for milk, eggs,
chicken, and aquaculture

 

595

Provide general excise tax exemption on processing
of livestock / meat to help sustain local farmers/ranchers

747

 

Support 4H and Future Farmer of America programs

486

 

Resolutions Still Alive (as of March 6, 2013)

Topic

House Resolution

Senate Resolution

Directs the state Public Utilities Commission to consider
preferential utility rates for agriculture

# Not Assigned Yet

# Not Assigned Yet

Encourages the state Public Utilities Commission to create
lower off-peak energy rates for agriculture, electric vehicles and water

# Not Assigned Yet

16

Concurrent Resolutions Still Alive (as of March 6, 2013)

Topic

House Resolution

Senate Resolution

Encourages state Public Utilities Commission to create
lower off-peak energy rates for agriculture, aquaculture and aquaponics

# Not Assigned Yet

35

Learn More?
On Facebook: Hawaii Beef, It's Whats For Dinner, Hawaii Livestock Farmers Coalition, 4 Ag Hawaii
Websites: www.hicattle.org, www.uluponoinitiative.com

Next Step: Get Involved by Testifying at the Legislature

Step 1: Write a brief description of who you are, if you’re part of an organization involved, your support for (or opposition) to a bill, why you think this issue is important. Then go to the Legislature’s website at www.capitol.hawaii.gov

Step 2: Click on “Submit Testimony”

Step 3: Fill out the form with your information and upload the testimony, including:

  • Your name and/or organization
  • The name of committee(s) and date of the hearing
  • Number of the bill with an indication of support, oppose, or comments

Step 4: Submit testimony

Step 5: The form will ask if you would like to present your testimony in person (which shows the strongest interest to lawmakers.)

Want to do more at the Legislature? In person in Room 401 at the State Capitol and on the Web, visit the Public Access Room, which offer lots of user-friendly information.

About the Organizations in the Local Food Coalition:

The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) is a non-profit organization of farming families united for the purpose of analyzing problems and formulating action to ensure the future of agriculture thereby promoting the well-being of farming and the State's economy. Currently, HFBF is a statewide organization consisting of approximately 1,950 member families.

The Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Inc. (HCC) is the statewide umbrella organization comprised of the five county level Cattlemen’s Associations. Its 130-plus member ranchers represent over 60,000 head of beef cows;more than 75 percent of all the beef cows in the state. Ranchers are the stewards of approximately one million acres representing 25 percent of the state’s total land mass.

The Hawaii Livestock Farmers Coalition (HLFC) consists of Hawai‘i cattle ranchers and processors, pork producers and processors, lamb and goat producers, egg producers, dairy producers, aquaculture producers, local veterinarians, the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, and other agricultural partners. It is the mission of the HLFC to promote a sustainable livestock farming economy in Hawai‘i that continues to expand local use of its products while recognizing the need to transport animals interstate and intrastate. Most importantly, HLFC’s goal is to ensure that animals are raised, transported, and processed in a humane and responsible manner.

4 Ag Hawaii is a non-profit 501c3 corporation established as a public-private partnership focused on goals that include: promoting the agricultural economic welfare of Hawai‘i and its counties, seeking to bring appropriate new agricultural businesses and/or industry;conducting agricultural economic;educational &media programs, fostering statewide interest for responsible agricultural economic development of our islands;and providing access to financial and program support of potential new agricultural business/industry and existing business/industry.

Ulupono Initiative is a Hawaii-based impact investment firm that strives to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by working toward solutions that create more locally grown food, increase renewable energy, and reduce/recycle waste. Ulupono invests in projects that have the potential to create large-scale, innovative change.

The Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association is a non-profit organization representing aquaculture and aquaponic producers, researchers, and associated professionals to support and enhance aquaculture and aquaponic farming activities statewide.

The Kohala Center (KC) is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. KC was established in direct response to the request of island residents and island leaders to create greater educational and employment opportunities by caring for – and celebrating – Hawaii Island’s natural and cultural landscape. Their mission is to respectfully engage the Island of Hawaii as a living model for humanity. Their vision includes a state of pono, in which individuals realize their potential, contributing their very best to one another, to the community, and to the aina (the land) itself, in exchange for a meaningful and happy life.

Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) is an organization of member schools that advocates on behalf of independent education in Hawaii and participates actively in the educational dialogue in our community. It provides services that strengthen our individual schools, and it supports their efforts to achieve educational quality and excellence for students. HAIS facilitates collaborative efforts among member schools on issues of mutual concern as well as partnerships to address shared needs.

Grow Hawaii is a three-year pilot project of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools designed to make meaningful impact on food consumption behavior and food self-sufficiency in Hawaii using school garden programs as a leverage point for change. It works closely with 15 independent, public and charter schools on Oahu that range from small to large to support the development of school garden programs and local school food procurement. The project envisions school gardens as a fully integrated and mission-critical element of school life, providing learning experiences and access to healthy food for all children and their communities statewide.

Malama Kauai was founded in 2006 by volunteers Keone Kealoha and Chris Jaeb, who saw the need for an organization that put sustainability at its core. Both wanted to develop an innovative and holistic method for approaching the challenges the island is facing. They have shaped a framework that merges the traditional Hawaiian values of aloha and malama aina with contemporary principles of sustainability that has grown into an organization of three full-time staff and an extensive island-wide network of volunteers. Malama Kauai has taken the island lead on developing the Kauai School Garden Network to make school gardening the norm in Kauai and to support individual schools to set-up new gardens on their campuses.

The Maui School Garden Network (MSGN) was founded in 2008 to respond to community concerns about growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and food-related illnesses among Hawaii’s youth, the lack of interest by young people in choosing agriculture-related professions, and the rising fuel costs for imported foods. Since its formation, MSGN has grown from 5 identified school garden programs to 43 including 35 on Maui, 7 on Molokai, and 1 on Lanai. Member schools are from parochial, independent, charter, and public sectors. The network comprises more than 30 school garden teacher contacts, four half-time school garden coordinators and one full-time school garden coordinator.

The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA)serves the interests of food manufacturers and industry affiliated companies in the state for a manufacturing industry that contributes close to $500 million to the State’s economy and supports thousands of jobs with payrolls that exceed $161 million annually.The association works to increase operating standards and integrity of the industry through education and training and to foster public awareness and appreciation of Hawaii’s fine foods, snacks and beverages.