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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. 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. The guide is available as a free download and a limited number of free hard copies will be available throughout Hawai'i. Distribution locations and a link to download the free guide are listed at www.valueadded.info.