Why is this important?
Buying Grown on Maui ensures that farming remains a viable lifestyle, and that the lands our keiki inherit can remain green. Buying local preserves our agricultural heritage and our connection to our ancestral roots. As Maui’s second-largest industry, agriculture enables tourism, Maui’s leading industry.
Besides providing beauty for visitors, ag is at the core of agritourism, education and entertainment, and Maui as a culinary destination. In short, buying local is vital to our culture, our community, our economy, our health.
And we are lucky. Home to over 800 farms, Maui already grows a stunning variety of nutritious, flavorful foods, including heirloom varieties. With its multiple climates, it can grow foods year-round, and just about any crop. We believe that this is an agricultural privilege, and a responsibility.
Are you a consumer?
Look for our Grown on Maui seal when you shop for fresh foods and flowers. The Grown on Maui symbol assures you that what you purchase was grown locally on Maui.
Are you a farmer?
Join our Grown on Maui marketing program to increase sales of your farm goods.
Are you a Friend of Ag?
A partnership between Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Nō Ka ʻOi magazine and the County of Maui, the annual Friend of Agriculture award program is designed to bring into the limelight those businesses that show exemplary support for products that are locally grown.
Maui County Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture recipients are announced annually at the annual ‘Aipono Awards Gala hosted by Maui No Ka ‘Oi magazine.
Past recipients include:
|2007||Peter Merriman, Hula Grill Ka’anapali|
|2008||James McDonald, Pacific’O, I’o, Feast at Lele, ‘Aina Gourmet and O‘o Farm|
|2009||Peter Merriman, Merriman’s Kapalua|
|2010||Jenna Haguaard, Flatbread Co.|
|2011||Justin Pardo, Market Fresh Bistro|
|2012||Tylun Pang, Ko at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui|
|2013||Scott McGrill and Chris Schobel, TS Restaurants (Hula Grill, Leilani’s & Dukes Beach House)|
|2014||Eric Faivre, Grand Wailea|
Eating local is the right thing to do. Why?
Buying Grown on Maui:
Improves our level of food security.
- Keeps money flowing through our community and strengthens its economy.
- Decreases the “food miles” involved in transporting foods.
- Reduces the likelihood of introducing harmful invasive pests.
- Allows us to know where our food comes from and who cared for it.
- Allows our farmers to remain in business.
- Preserves managed green open space and other farms-and-grasslands ecosystem values.
- Delivers local produce that’s flavorful, healthful, and fresh, picked at its peak.
- Builds relationships and community.
- Traces products back to their source, which increases food safety.
- Nurtures an exciting cuisine that relies on local and fresh.
- Nurtures tourism with beauty, a sense of place, fresh food.
- Holds a resource of knowledge and education for our children.
- Supports Maui.
How are we doing so far in buying Grown on Maui?
In 2011, a study led by the Ulupono Initiative revealed that around 75 percent of islanders feel that growing our own local foods is important. Yet only about 8 percent of our food budgets currently go to locally grown. Some more stats:
- Statewide, locally produced fruit has a 42 percent market share.
- Locally grown fresh vegetables have a 36 percent market share.
- We grow 99 percent of the papayas we eat, 55 percent of bananas, 81 percent water melons.
- We buy 92 percent of the broccoli we consume from overseas farms, and 85 percent of romaine.
- We import all our grains and nearly all other starches. Maybe we don’t have to, but we aren’t in the habit of serving taro or breadfruit as our daily starch.
- Statewide, sweet potatoes have been at record-high commercial production in recent years, up to 8.1 million pounds in 2008, but while Hawai‘i’s farmers provide 75 percent of local demand, the majority of the crop is destined for export.
- We also import most of our proteins. About 25 percent of beef produced in Hawai‘i is for local consumption, but the total market share isn’t much higher than 10 percent.
- The share of locally produced seafood is substantial. However, depletion of marine resources is a threat, and we are only at the beginning of aquaculture as an alternative.
- Less than 10 percent of milk, eggs, and pork meat is locally grown.
Facts at a Glance:
- Agriculture (including farm production, forestry, fishing and related activities, food product manufacturing, agritourism) generates $2.9 billion for Hawai‘i’s annual economy. (HDOA)
- The food processing industry contributes about half of this total.
- Agriculture provides directly or indirectly 42,000 jobs.
- Direct farm gate revenues for 2010 totaled $689.6 million, up 7 percent from 2009. (NASS)
- Hawaii’s hired agricultural workforce totaled 7,300 workers in the fall of 2011.
- The average wage paid to these workers was estimated at $14.83 per hour.
- If islanders statewide were to add to their current purchases just six new locally-grown products – milk, beef, tomatoes, eggs, romaine lettuce, and bananas – Hawai‘i could add nearly 3,000 ag jobs, collect close to $8 million in extra State taxes, and create an additional combined revenue of well over $200 million in direct, indirect and secondary sales. Our farmers would earn altogether $62 million more. (Ulupono Initiative, 2011)
- Farm land accounted for 1.1 million acres in 2008, about 27 percent of total land area. (Not all land is in crop.)
- The average age of a farm operator in Hawaii is 59 years old. (agclassroom.org)
- The average farm size in Hawai‘i is 149 acres, and 92 percent are smaller than 100 acres.
- Maui was home to more than 1100 farms in 2008, according to the latest NASS bulletin.
- The number includes about 150 cattle operations, plus hog, milk, honey and egg producers.
- Maui farm acreage was 230,000 acres in 2008, about half of total land area. (Not all land is in crop.)
- No definitive numbers exist, but farmers around the nation suggest that sustainable agriculture can produce enough food to feed at least two people per acre throughout the year. Some believe that number to be much higher. (Maui has a population of about 150,000.)
- Agricultural sales for Maui County topped $144 million in 2008. (NASS)
- Maui hired 1,700 workers for its farms in 2008.
- Ag tourism on Maui brought in $4.994 million in 2006.
- Imported produce from overseas must travel 2,500 miles to reach Maui. Chances are, a Maui farmers is growing something that you want within a 25-mile radius of your home.