H.R. NO.



H.D. 1














WHEREAS, cacao, derived from the theobroma cacao tree and native to the central and western Amazon region, is the dried and fermented seed from which chocolate is obtained and is widely distributed throughout the humid tropical regions with commercial production concentrated in Brazil, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, and Nigeria; and


WHEREAS, cacao was first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1850; and


WHEREAS, Hawaii's environment and climate make it the only state in the United States that can commercially grow cacao and, as the state closest to both Asia and the continental United States, Hawaii is ideally situated to capture and prosper from the opportunities of a growing cacao market which currently generates $75,000,000,000 worldwide annually; and


WHEREAS, Asia has already developed into a major chocolate market with Japan experiencing significant increases in chocolate consumption during the past decade, with leading hotels and businesses offering chocolate tastings to educate consumers on cacao's benefits; and


WHEREAS, according to E. Guittard Chocolate, Hawaii-grown cacao is currently enjoying a price premium two to four times higher than fine flavor cacao that is traded in world markets; and


WHEREAS, cacao butter, rich in specific antioxidants, is used as a medicine for healing bruises and is also utilized in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries; and


WHEREAS, the alkaloid found in the cacao seed, theobromine (xantheose), is a stimulant similar to coffee and is also used in medicine today as a vasodilator, a diuretic, and heart stimulant; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that the cacao industry is poised to improve the State's economy by offering a broad range of job opportunities and increased revenue from diversified agriculture, production and processing, and research and development which can potentially draw down federal funds; and


WHEREAS, cacao offers a significant opportunity as the foundation for a new industry that specializes in the growing, cultivating, processing, and shipping of Hawaii-grown cacao to the mainland United States and the rest of the world; and


WHEREAS, H.C.R. No. 216, Regular Session of 2003, supported the many benefits of Hawaii-grown cacao to our state and diversified agriculture and H.C.R. No. 270, Regular Session of 2008, called for a task force to devise a plan to expedite the introduction and delivery of Hawaiian cacao to the marketplace; and


WHEREAS, the cacao industry in Hawaii is in its infancy stage with fewer than 30 growers and a total acreage of approximately 50 acres; and


WHEREAS, the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has conducted a series of meetings, including the one-day workshop entitled "Future of Cacao in Hawaii" held October 23, 2008, involving key stakeholders in the local cacao industry and representatives statewide to strategize on ways to position Hawaii in the growing cacao market; and


WHEREAS, although some progress has been made in promoting Hawaii-grown cacao, the Legislature finds that additional efforts are needed to accelerate the growth of the cacao industry, increase the manufacture and supply of locally-grown cacao, and promote its use and products; and


WHEREAS, worldwide, chocolate festivals have achieved outstanding success for international tourist destinations; and


WHEREAS, locally, the Hawaii Cacao Festival at Haleiwa Farmers' Market in January of 2011 posted its highest attendance ever with sold-out tours and vendors, and helped to make the recent Hawaii Chocolate Festival at Aloha Tower Marketplace a great success; and


WHEREAS, as reported by the Nielsen Company, the month of February reflects high chocolate consumption nationally, with consumers purchasing more than 58,000,000 pounds of chocolate, amounting to upwards of $345,000,000 in sales; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, that the Legislature recognizes February of 2012 as "Hawaii-Grown Cacao Month", a month-long effort to educate and promote public awareness of the multiple benefits of Hawaii-grown cacao; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and the respective mayors of the County of Kauai, County of Maui, County of Hawaii, and the City and County of Honolulu.

Report Title:

Hawaii Grown Cacao Month