Honolulu (December 2, 2013) — As part of its mission to increase local food production, Ulupono Initiative is investing $17.5 million to form Hawaii Dairy Farms, a grass-fed dairy that will be located on Kauai. Based on the New Zealand pastoral dairy model that uses grass as the primary feed source, this dairy will bring together suppliers with best-in-class capabilities to create an operation that will infuse more local, fresh milk into Hawaii’s dairy supply. The building permit applications have been filed and construction is anticipated to start in 2014.
Today, the total amount of locally produced milk is less than nine percent of the entire Hawaii market with the rest imported from the continental United States. Hawaii Dairy Farms’ operations will more than double local milk production, contributing an additional 11 percent to the statewide milk market. Hawaii Dairy Farms’ milk will be both high quality and affordable, thanks to proven, world-class methods. By drawing upon and adapting best practices from farm systems in both New Zealand and the U.S., Ulupono Initiative hopes to revitalize the dairy sector in Hawaii, where local dairies produced all of the state’s milk until 1984.
“After several years of studying the benefits of the grass-fed model to offset the volatile cost of imported feed, we believe that forming Hawaii Dairy Farms is an important step toward revitalizing our local dairy industry,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative. “This is integral to our mission to increase affordable and sustainable local food production. We believe this dairy’s success could lead to additional grass-fed dairies statewide. We’re pleased to be working with Grove Farm and our New Zealand partners to bring this sustainable model to Kauai to benefit our state.”
Hawaii Dairy Farms will be located in the Mahaulepu area of Kauai on a 582-acre pasture parcel of Important Agricultural Land (IAL) leased from Grove Farm. The overall design and construction is being done in partnership with Dairy SolutioNZ, Ltd., a consortium of New Zealand’s top dairy industry companies, and local business partners.
Jim Garmatz, a dairyman with more than 25 years experience, will manage dairy operations.
About Ulupono Initiative
Ulupono Initiative LLC is a for-profit 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 clean renewable energy production and reduce waste. For more information about Ulupono Initiative, please visit www.ulupono.com.