Shop local, support small farmers, double food production by 2030 – the messaging around increasing Hawaii’s self-sufficiency in food sounds strong.
But the obstacles in front of Gov. David Ige’s six-year-old pledge to double the state’s food production are numerous. And it’s not just about producing food; it’s about getting it from the farmer to the customer.
Hawaii’s food system is challenged by obstacles unique from the rest of the U.S. because for local food to fill local plates, crops and livestock must traverse Hawaii’s archipelagic makeup and negotiate a supply chain more suited to bigger farming operations like those found on the mainland.
That means dealing with bottlenecks in processing and other intermediary obstacles like the lack of slaughterhouses. That’s where food hubs can help, agricultural insiders say.