Cane-burning meeting yielded valuable information

On April 15, I attended Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.’s open house regarding its cane-burning practices. HC&S officials presented very useful information on what they are doing to try and mitigate the impact their burning is having on our community.

Let me repeat that: Our community.

And that was the tone that was set Tuesday evening.

If HC&S could stop its cane-burning practice and continue to be a vital member of our community, it would do it tomorrow. But, as was brought up at the open house, company officials are looking at many alternatives and, at the current time, none present a viable option. Not only did they educate us on their research for alternatives but also answered many questions presented from the attendees and clarified misinformation.

Presentations from Australia and Louisiana acknowledged that they also continue to burn cane, either pre-harvest or, in some cases, post-harvest, and that they too continue to look for alternatives.

The moderator did an excellent job in keeping the discussion on the topic at hand and did not let either side of the issue interrupt the meeting with applause and cheers, as is so often the case in these meetings.

HC&S is a strong supporter of buying local and helping the local community. Its impact on Maui families, jobs and economy goes far beyond its 800 employees.

Greg Heyd