Categorized | Agriculture

Free value-added guide for Hawaii producers released


A free 58-page guide entitled, Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawaii: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation is now available. Because of the high cost of labor, land, and materials in Hawaii, family farms are only economically sustainable if they can produce high-quality products that are valued above cheap imports.

This guide helps growers add value to all aspects of their farm enterprise and offers resources for further developing their strategies.

“If you cherish the farming lifestyle and want to keep farming, you have to make your farm profitable. This guide goes a long way towards showing how to escape from the fatal trap of commoditization by adding value for the consumer,” said Dr. Kent Fleming, an extension economist who has developed numerous cost-of-production spreadsheets for the University of Hawaii and other organizations worldwide.

The guide was authored by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love with input from agricultural professionals statewide.

Elevitch is an agroforestry educator whose most recent book Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011) provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on production methods, post-harvest processing, and marketing.

Love, widely known as a passionate advocate for the innovative small farm, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, Hawaii, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits, and coffee.

“Adding value is an essential component of small farm sustainability,” said Love, who has extensive experience working with farm enterprises. “There are many different ways to add value in growing, processing, and marketing products. This guide is about finding ways of adding value to your operation that are best suited for you and that are ultimately profitable.”

The publication was produced with funds from the state Department of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Incubator Program of the University of Hawaii, and the county Department of Research and Development.

The guide is available as a free download and a limited number of free hard copies will be available throughout Hawaii.

Distribution locations and a link to download the free guide are listed at

One Response to “Free value-added guide for Hawaii producers released”

  1. HawaiiFarmer says:

    Dr Kent Fleming is speaking from both sides of his mouth. He sends testimony to law makers speaking AGAINST value added farm production in Hawaii (e.g. always supporting out of state coffee blenders). Sadly to say that his spread sheets are hopelessly outdated as well.

    Neither Mr Love nor Mr Elevitch make a living from farming, but seem to be doing very well by getting their studies financed. Wouldn’t bet my farm on their economic advice alone.

    In a nutshell: Value-added farming ONLY works with legal protection of geographical regions plus state enforced quality control. Which is lobbied down every time it comes in front of Honolulu law makers.

    Hawaiis expensive farming can only be supported by its highly valued names, which are exploited left and right. I would challenge the economist Dr Fleming to show how tolerating 90-100% foreign products sold under Hawaiian names could possibly support local ag.


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