Hui Holomua Business Fest to examine Hawaii’s food security

Luncheon keynote speaker, chef Sam Choy, will talk about his bumpy road to success as one of the influential leaders of the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine “farm to table” approach.

The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest titled “Ko koa uka, ko koa kai — Those of the upland, those of the shore” will examine the interdependence between those who grow, manufacture, prepare and consume food.

This business conference is slated for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.

“With some 36,000 acres of HC&S former sugar plantation lands now lying fallow and the loss of nearly 2,000 acres of pineapple cultivation, Maui finds itself at an agricultural crossroads,” said Native Hawaii Chamber President Teri Freitas Gorman. “The bare supermarket shelves following Hurricane Lane demonstrate how dependent we are upon other places for our food. With the right vision and leadership, Maui can capitalize on a rare opportunity to become the state’s bread basket.”

The first Biz Fest presentation, “‘Aina Momona (productive land).” will demonstrate how Hawaii’s largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools, is repurposing much of its land for agricultural use based in Hawaiian traditions.

State Sen. Brickwood Galuteria will moderate a discussion by leaders of the state’s four Native Hawaiian Chambers of Commerce about how the business of food must change to properly feed the people.

Luncheon keynote speaker, chef Sam Choy, will talk about his bumpy road to success as one of the leaders of the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine “farm to table” approach.

The afternoon will focus on the farmers themselves. Farmer and state representative from Molokai, Lynn DeCoite, will moderate a multigenerational panel of farmers to explore what it will take to grow the farmers who will grow our food.

Another panel, moderated by Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, will focus on those who have established successful careers in food, including manufacturing, chefs, food service managers and restaurateurs.

Hawaiian cultural practitioner Ramsay Taum will summarize the day’s presentations through a Hawaiian cultural lens.

Traditional Hawaiian music by Alexa Vaught will welcome attendees to the continental breakfast. Opening protocol is under the direction of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.

Students from Kamehameha Schools Maui will provide traditional pule and oli throughout the day. And because education is central to the mission of the Native Hawaiian chamber, a charity auction will benefit Punana Leo O Maui Hawaiian Language Immersion School.

Event sponsors underwrite scholarships for up to 50 high school students to attend the conference at no charge.

Seating is limited to 350 guests. Admission is $75 for members and $85 for nonmembers. RSVP and pay in advance by visiting www.mnhcoc.org/businessfest/ or by phone at 757-3045.

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