Maui Ag Design Conference - July 2010


This conference was organized by Maui Aloha Aina with funding from the County of Maui and involved a diverse group of farmers, public health officials, ag consultants, the buyer from Whole Foods, water and soil specialists, economic and business development consultants, renewable energy specialists and more.  The conference was highly participatory and held over 5 days.   The goal was to take a holistic view of Maui’s food production system.  

Michael Shuman from the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) presented on local stock exchanges and this is where the seed was planted for the HI Community Exchange.  

With much progress in understanding of how we can do an exchange (including the State level regulatory task group described at this website) and with several web platforms ready to host our activities, attention is now focused on developing teams, business plans and operational ventures that will be attractive to investors and sponsors while fulfilling and evolving the vision articulated at the conference.   This includes developing a team and approach to “accelerate the slow food and slow money movement” here in Hawaii.   In the Ag Design Conference report, we describe this as the ACDC or Agricultural Community Development Corporation.  This will most likely be a co-operative and should be formalized over the summer of 2013 pulling together the efforts of those helping to develop ventures willing and able to synergize their efforts.

Numerous other projects have sprouted since the Ag Design Conference including an Adam’s Retort to produce biochar, workshops on indigenous micro organisms (IMOs) and a company producing a blend of char, IMOs and minerals as a soil amendment.  The Hawaii Islands Land Trust has started a task group to look at creating an affordable farming land trust.  UH Maui College is moving forward with a value added food products incubator, and there is a flowering of small farms, gardens, aquaponic operations, and farmers markets.  More and more restaurants are emphasizing locally grown food.    

The government and policy goals are moving along at a slower level, although a re-organized and revitalized Maui Farmer’s Union United (MFUU) part of the statewide Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is making excellent progress having helped stop a regressive food safety law passed by the HI Legislature in 2011 and ’12 and attracting well over 100 people each of its monthly meetings.  With strong relationships evolving on local, state and national levels, the HFUU is well poised to have a big impact over the next years.

Read the Maui Ag Design Conf - Preliminary Report.pdf

Updated May 16, 2013