Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 1471

       H.D. 2




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 1471, H.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to establish a pilot program within the Department of Agriculture to encourage farmers to form agricultural cooperatives, coordinate purchasing agreements between the agricultural cooperatives and hotels, restaurants, and other buyers in the visitor and hospitality industries, and develop and implement safe food certification for products under the program.


     The measure also establishes the Food Certification Pilot Program Special Fund and appropriates funds for the program.


     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by seven organizations.  Comments were submitted by one public citizen.  Testimony in opposition was submitted by two state agencies.  Written testimony presented to your Committee may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.


     Your Committee finds that the hotel industry in Hawaii buys an estimated 28-32 per cent of locally grown agricultural products, of which pineapple and papaya are the major purchases.  The importation of agricultural products to service the hotel industry is 68 per cent, and if pineapple and papaya were removed, the imported products are estimated to be approximately 82 per cent.  Your Committee believes that the hotel industry in Hawaii can increase the amount of locally grown agricultural products purchased annually from local farms.  The hotel industry requires, however, that the farms have, or be in the process of obtaining their third party food safety certifications and audits.  A key factor in increasing the amount of local produce sold to hotels is increased coordination and communication among farmers with desired specialty crops, packers and processors, qualified distributors, and buyers.  An on-farm food safety education program provides the "coaching" for farmers in applying best food safety practices and disciplines in preparing the land, growing, harvesting, and processing the crops.  This measure will further the development of the infrastructure needed for the hotel industry and related industries to use the agricultural products which are produced locally.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1471, H.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture, and Hawaiian Affairs,