H.B. NO.



H.D. 2


S.D. 2














     SECTION 1.  In the wake of the global recession that saw Hawaii's unemployment rate triple between 2007 and 2009, the legislature finds that rebuilding and diversifying Hawaii's economy to create new jobs, to put people back to work, and to build a strong economic base that carries Hawaii into the twenty-first century is a key priority.

     The legislature also finds that Hawaii is dangerously dependent on imported food.  As the most geographically isolated state in the country, Hawaii imports approximately ninety-two per cent of its food, according to the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program.  Currently, Hawaii has a supply of fresh produce for no more than ten days.  Ninety per cent of the beef, sixty-seven per cent of the fresh vegetables, sixty-five per cent of the fresh fruits, and eighty per cent of all milk purchased in the State are imported.  The legislature further finds that Hawaii's reliance on out-of-state sources of food places residents directly at risk of food shortages in the event of natural disasters, economic disruption, and other external factors beyond the State's control.

     The legislature further finds that each food product imported to Hawaii is a lost opportunity for local economic growth.  The legislature notes that according to the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources, an increase in the production and sale of Hawaii-grown agricultural commodities would contribute to significant job creation.  The research shows that replacing ten per cent of current food imports with locally grown food will create a total of two thousand three hundred jobs.  The legislature thus finds that increasing the amount of locally grown food by as little as ten per cent could keep hundreds of millions of dollars circulating within Hawaii's economy, stimulate growth, and create thousands of new jobs.  Such diversification would help make Hawaii's economy more resilient to worldwide events.

     The legislature further finds that increasing local production will ensure that Hawaii has food sources that will be more resilient to global supply disruptions, will be better able to cope with increasing global demand and shortages of commodities such as oil, and will be better prepared to deal with potential global food scarcities.

     The legislature notes that the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables degrade rapidly and recognizes that increased availability of local food typically ensures access to fresher, later-picked produce with greater vitamin content and higher nutritional value.  A more robust local agricultural sector will lead to more consistency and a likely increase in nutritional choices for local residents.  The legislature believes communities will thrive by having a steady, affordable stream of local products that act as staple foods to residents and by having their food dollars recycled and reinvested in the local economy.

     The legislature further finds that by establishing a food sustainability standard, Hawaii will be able to ensure a long-term commitment of resources and investment to producing a significant portion of Hawaii's food for local consumption.  Such a standard will also create a framework for long term planning, including land use planning, resource allocation, and tax incentives, and will otherwise direct Hawaii toward a more robust and sustainable future.

     In summary, the legislature finds that establishing an increase in the production of local food as a key state priority will lead to the diversification of Hawaii's economy, create new jobs, advance Hawaii's long term economic stability, and boost the food security of the people of Hawaii.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish a statewide food sustainability standard program.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


Food sustainability

     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

     "Department" means the department of agriculture.

     "Farm cash receipts" means the gross revenue of farms derived from the sale of Hawaii-grown products including livestock, dairy, and edible crops, as determined by the department on an annual basis.

     "Food sustainability standard" means the volume of food commodities sold in the State, measured by farm cash receipts or as otherwise determined by the department, that are grown in the State.

     §   -2  Department of agriculture responsibilities.  (a)  The department shall be responsible for measuring and analyzing the amount of food livestock, dairy, and edible crop commodities grown and sold in the State on an annual basis.  This information shall be made publicly available in accordance with chapter 92F.

     (b)  The department shall, on an annual basis and in conjunction with the department of business, economic development, and tourism, identify key food commodities to be targeted for assistance in developing an increased local market share.

     (c)  The department shall be responsible for planning and adopting the necessary incentives to ensure that the food sustainability standard established under this chapter is met or exceeded.

     (d)  The department shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session on the status and progress of the department's efforts to effectuate this chapter and any recommended policy changes or necessary legislation.

     (e)  The department may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

     §   -3  Food sustainability standard.  (a)  A statewide food sustainability standard to be achieved by the year 2020 is hereby established that requires the State to increase the amount of food grown in the State for local consumption by at least double the amount grown in 2014; provided that the department shall measure this amount by the farm cash receipts for livestock, dairy, and crops without regard to inflation adjustments, or by a comparable measurement as determined by the department.

     (b)  The department shall submit a report and recommendations to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2020 regular session on how to raise the food sustainability standard over the following decade."

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2030.


Report Title:

Food Sustainability; Department of Agriculture



Creates a new chapter in HRS requiring the department of agriculture to develop a food sustainability standard to promote local food production to help diversify the local economy.  Effective 7/1/2030.  (SD2)




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