Ulupono Initiative

Local Food Coalition

Focusing on solving the challenge of increasing Hawaii’s local food production by bringing people and organizations together.

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Formed in 2012, 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. As a united hui in support of all agriculture, LFC advocates for policy issues that addres­­­s critical matters related to land, water, finance, energy, market development and other key concerns that members believe will help local food production gain strength.

See all the Hawaii State Legislative bills and amendments that LFC supported.

LFC members represent a wide variety of agricultural interests:

  • 4 Ag Hawaii
  • Hawaii Aquaculture & Aquaponics Association
  • Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council
  • Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation
  • Hawaii Farmers’ Union United
  • Hawaii Food Industry Association
  • Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association
  • The Kohala Center
  • Malama Kauai
  • Maui School Garden Network
  • Ulupono Initiative


In the 2014 Hawaii State Legislative session, LFC was successful in its advocacy for House Bill 737 and House Bill 748, which proposed an amendment to the Hawaii Constitution to authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist agricultural enterprises. The passage of these measures resulted in a proposed state constitutional amendment on the 2014 General Election ballot. With major funding and professional services support from Ulupono, LFC conducted a public outreach and media campaign to “Vote Yes for Local Food” to educate Hawaii voters about the ballot initiative, which successfully passed in the 2014 General Election.

Cottage Food Working Group

During the 2014 Legislative Session, the Hawaii House of Representatives and Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 97, which called for Ulupono Initiative or the Local Food Coalition to convene a cottage food working group. Cottage food are low-risk foods such as baked goods, jams and jellies that are prepared in one's home and sold to the general public. This working group held meetings to discuss recommendations for the 2015 Legislature on the feasibility of more cottage food businesses in Hawaii. Ulupono Initiative assisted fellow LFC member The Kohala Center with the funding and coordination of working group meetings, held in October 2014. Read the full report: Hawaii Cottage Food Business Working Group Report, 2014


In the 2015 Legislative session, the LFC successfully supported the creation of the Farm-to-School Program in conjunction with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (DOA) (Senate Bill 376). This legislation provided $75,000 for one full-time farm-to-school coordinator position within DOA. It also established a farm-to-school program in the DOA to work on agricultural education, local food procurement, and school gardens. For the LFC, we believe supporting our youth with agricultural awareness is critical to create future farmers and ranchers, especially when the average age of a Hawaii farmer is 60 years old.


Building on the approval of the 2014 Constitutional Amendment for Special Purpose Revenue Bonds (SPRB) for Agricultural Enterprises, the LFC supported the successful passage of a SPRB for Big Island Dairy (House Bill 1982) in the 2016 Legislative session. Big Island Dairy is the first enterprise designated for funding under the new agricultural class of special purpose revenue bond projects. The $10 million bond will support Big Island Dairy’s operations in Ookala on Hawaii Island by helping it obtain a lower interest rate on its loan without using taxpayer dollars.

Why We Invested

As a member of the Local Food Coalition, Ulupono Initiative has invested in LFC's various local food advocacy projects and events. Ulupono believes LFC’s mission to support statewide food- and agriculture-related policy issues is aligned with our own objectives for more local food production in Hawaii.


  • Works to solve our challenge of increasing Hawaii's local food production
  • Brings people and organizations together who can work on the entire food value chain in a systematic way
  • Advocates for and supports policy in the interest of more local food production in Hawaii

At a Glance

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