Hawai‘i Food Map: Farmers & Chefs Huli Hui

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Another facet of the Hawaiʻi Food Map is No Waste Project, known as the Huli Hui that aims to connect chefs and food manufacturers with farmers who have surplus and off-grade produce that needs to be sold quickly.

The state of Hawaii is currently importing roughly 90% of our food. Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi farmers report that up to 40% of their crops go to waste because they are not retail grade or are part of bumper crops that cannot be easily absorbed into standing orders.

This is not only a Hawaii problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the problem is worldwide and the repercussions are heavy. Here’s a link to their 2011 report on how food waste affects businesses and food costs.

Can we afford to let that food go to waste?

If your business is being affected by rising shipping costs and the increasing costs of imported food, you might be interested in the network we are building.

We are developing a network of restaurants, food manufacturers, schools, and other food service that can mobilize quickly to move quantities of surplus and off-grade produce from local farms – saving jobs, decreasing loss, shrinking the waste stream.

By helping these farms we will also insure that our state’s food production capacity grows instead of shrinks. In these times of rising shipping costs and destabilize imported food prices due to climate change and events, this will prove to be a key factor for food businesses based in geographically isolated regions.

The network we are building will frame the first year as a highly publicized 12 month challenge – how many tons of locally grown produce can we rescue?

As each surplus challenge arises, we will document the many ways chefs and food manufacturing businesses are responding – and how the public can support these efforts by supporting your business.

Another aspect of the project is to survey desire for custom grown crops not yet available locally and to cultivate collaborations between chefs and farmers to meet the need. By helping to curate crops we hope to increase production by lessening the risks and supporting farmers willing to grow new and different crops.

If your farm or business is interested in participating in this project, please complete the following questionnaire.

FARM survey

BUSINESS survey

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