12th ANNUAL HUI HOLOMUA BIZ FEST EXAMINES HAWAIʻI’S FOOD SECURITY
“With some 36,000 acres of HC&S former sugar plantation lands now lying fallow and the loss of nearly 2,000 acres of pineapple cultivation, Maui finds itself at an agricultural crossroads,” said MNHCoC president Teri Freitas Gorman. “The bare supermarkets shelves following Hurricane Lane demonstrate how dependent we are upon other places for our food. With the right vision and leadership, Maui can capitalize on a rare opportunity to become the state’s bread basket.”
The first Biz Fest presentation, “ʻĀina Momona (productive land)” will demonstrate how Hawaii’s largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools, is repurposing much of its land for agricultural use based in Hawaiian traditions. State senator Brickwood Galuteria will moderate a discussion by leaders of the state’s four Native Hawaiian Chambers of Commerce about how the business of food must change to properly feed our people. Luncheon Keynote speaker, Chef Sam Choy will talk about his bumpy road to success as one of the influential leaders of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine “farm to table” approach. The afternoon will focus on the farmers themselves. Farmer and state representative from Molokaʻi, Lynn DeCoite will moderate a multi-generational panel of farmers to explore what it will take to grow the farmers who will grow our food. Another panel, moderated by Kauaʻi mayor Bernard Carvalho, will focus on those who have established successful careers in food, including manufacturing, chefs, food service managers and restaurateur. Hawaiian cultural practitioner and popular speaker Ramsay Taum will summarize the day’s presentations through a Hawaiian cultural lens. Event sponsors underwrite scholarships for up to 50 high school students to attend the conference at no charge.
Hawaiian cultural protocol is always featured at the Biz Fest. Traditional Hawaiian music by Auntie Alexa Vaught will welcome attendees to the continental breakfast. Opening protocol is under the direction of the Royal Order of Kamehameha. Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui will provide traditional pule and oli throughout the day. And because education is central to the mission of MNHCoC, a charity auction will benefit Pūnana Leo O Maui Hawaiian Language Immersion School.
About the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (MNHCoC) — MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.” Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community. The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce welcomes all Hawaiians and “Hawaiians at Heart” to share in their mission. For more information, see www.mnhcoc.org.