Value-Added Innovation for Hawai‘i Growers:
Making the Family Farm Profitable
A project by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love
Free value-added guide for Hawai'i producers released
HOLUALOA, HAWAI'I – A free 58-page guide entitled, Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawai‘i: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation is now available [download the guide]. Because of the high cost of labor, land, and materials in Hawai‘i, family farms are only economically sustainable if they can produce high-quality products that are valued above cheap imports. This guide helps growers add value to all aspects of their farm enterprise and offers resources for further developing their strategies. “If you cherish the farming lifestyle and want to keep farming, you have to make your farm profitable. This guide goes a long way towards showing how to escape from the fatal trap of commoditization by adding value for the consumer,” observes Dr. Kent Fleming, an extension economist who has developed numerous cost-of-production spreadsheets for the University of Hawai'i and other organizations worldwide.
The guide was authored by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love with input from agricultural professionals statewide. Elevitch is an agroforestry educator whose most recent book Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011) provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing. Love, widely known as a passionate advocate for the innovative small farm, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, Hawai'i, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits, and coffee.
"Adding value is an essential component of small farm sustainability," says Love, who has extensive experience working with farm enterprises. "There are many different ways to add value in growing, processing, and marketing products. This guide is about finding ways of adding value to your operation that are best suited for you and that are ultimately profitable."
The publication was produced with funds from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Incubator Program of the University of Hawai‘i, and the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development.
There are three ways to get a copy of the guide:
1. Download as pdf file.
2. Pick up a free hard copy (subject to availability)
3. Purchase a hard copy from Amazon.com
1. Download your copy of the value-added guide
2. Pick up a hard copy of the value-added guide (limited quantities!)
A limited number of hard copies will be available for pick up at the following locations:
Hilo, Hawai'i Island: UH Komohana Research Extension Center, 875 Komohana Street, Hilo, HI 96720, regular office hours
Kona, Hawai'i Island: Keauhou Farmers Market, Saturdays 8:00 am - 12:00 noon
Puna, Hawai'i Island: Kua O Ka La Public Charter School, Makai side main office (Directly beside ‘Ahalanui County Park [warm pond]), school days 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Waimea, Hawai'i Island: Waimea Homestead Farmers Market, Honopua Farms' booth (Roen and Ken Hufford), Saturdays 7:00 am - 12:00 noon
Lihue, Kaua'i: Kaua'i Cooperative Extension Service, State Office Building, 3060 Eiwa Street, Room 210, Lihue, regular office hours
Honolulu, O'ahu: UH Honolulu Extension Office, 1955 East-West Rd. Ag Sci III Room 217, Honolulu, HI 96822, regular office hours
Pearl City, O'ahu: UH Pearl Urban Garden Center, 955 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City, regular office hours
Kahuhui, Maui: UH Kahului Extension Office, 310 Kaahumanu Ave., Bldg. 214, Kahului, HI 96732, regular office hours
Moloka'i: UH Moloka'i Cooperative Extension Office, Ho'olehua, regular office hours
Lana'i: Lana‘i Senior Center, 309 Seventh Street, Lana'i City
Inspiration, Imagination, Innovation
Even though hundreds of new crops have been introduced to Hawai‘i over the past 200 years, few continue to be economically viable for family farms when sold as raw commodities. The high cost of labor, land, and necessary supplies to produce a crop in Hawai‘i make most products from the U.S. mainland and many countries far cheaper than local products, despite the costs of shipping.
Most family farms in Hawai‘i can only be economically sustainable if they harvest, process, package, transport, sell, and provide services in ways that add value to their crops. Participants of this workshop will learn about
- An expanded view of adding value to all products and practices
- Ways to focus efforts at minimal cost for maximum effect
- Approaches that control risk
- Resources for planning and funding
Topics covered include adding value in the following areas
- Selecting crops and varieties
- Developing market niches
- Ensuring optimal crop quality
- Processing a range of profitable products
- Packaging and labeling for increased sales
- Developing a valuable brand identity
- Certifications (organic, etc.) that increase sales and profits
- Customer service to strengthen customer loyalty
- Pricing for a range of different markets (wholesale, retail, direct, etc.)
- Market development to increase sales
Workshop time and locations (completed in March 2013)
Value-Added Innovation for Hawai‘i Growers: Making the Family Farm Profitable
Workshops on Hawai‘i Island, Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Maui
With Craig Elevitch, Ken Love, and specialist presenters
Hilo, Hawai‘i, Wed., March 20, 2013 Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) (Google map for Hilo venue). With guest presenter Dr. Marisa Wall of PBARC, who leads research programs that encompass an entire production and postharvest system, from the seed to the consumer.Dr. Francis Zee of USDA/ARS will join the afternoon session to share his work with tea, 'ohelo berry and pesticide-free ginger production.
Holualoa, Kona, Hawai‘i, Thurs., March 21, 2013 Kona Imin Center (Google map for Kona venue). With guest presenter Emmerich Grosch, known throughout Hawai'i and the Pacific for his knowledge of small-scale processing and innovative farm product development.
Kalaheo, Kaua‘i, Wed., March 27, 2013 National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kalaheo (Google map for Kauai venue). With guest presenter Dr. Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute, who is working with breadfruit value-added products.
Pearl City, O‘ahu, Thurs., March 28, 2013 O‘ahu Urban Garden Center (University of Hawai‘i) (Pearl City location information). With guest presenter Steven Chiang, who, as Director of University of Hawai'i’s Agribusiness Incubator Program, has helped clients see annual profits triple on average.
Kahului, Maui, Fri., March 29, 2013 Cary & Eddie's Hideaway Restaurant (Google map for Kahului venue).
Craig Elevitch has been an educator in agroforestry since 1991. His latest book, Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011), provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on innovative production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing.
Ken Love, widely known as a passionate tropical fruit expert, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, Hawai‘i, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits, and coffee. Ken’s publications include a very popular series of fruit variety posters for tropical fruits, avocado, citrus, fig, and banana.
This project was produced with funds from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Additional funding was provided by the Agribusiness Incubator Program of the University of Hawai‘i and the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development.
Mahalo for provision of workshop venues by Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (USDA/ARS PBARC), Hawai‘i County, National Tropical Botanical Garden, University of Hawai‘i O‘ahu Urban Garden Center, and Cary & Eddie's Hideaway Restaurant. This workshop is a presentation of Permanent Agriculture Resources, Holualoa, North Kona, Hawai‘i, email@example.com