Categorized | Food

Two isle companies honored by HFMA


The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) recognized the best of the best in Hawaii’s food manufacturing industry this week at its first-ever Taste Awards, held at the Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery.

Co-sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the awards honored individuals, companies and products throughout Hawaii that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and contribution to the manufacturing industry and to the community.

Awards were presented in nine categories. From a total of 121 nominations submitted, 10 people and/or organizations received the awards.

* The Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Gov. Abercrombie himself, was awarded to Neal Arakaki of Menehune Mac.

* The INNOVATE Hawaii Manufacturer of the Year “Large-Company” (more than 100 employees) was given to So Ono Food Products.

* The INNOVATE Hawaii Manufacturer of the Year “Small-Company” (less than 100 employees) was awarded to Big Island Bees of Kealakekua, Hawaii.

* Recognized as the Start-up Manufacturer of the Year was Chic Naturals of Lahaina, Maui.

* Honored with the Product of the Year Award was Big Island Abalone of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

* The Advocate of the Year Award was shared by two individuals: Wayne Inouye of INNOVATE Hawaii and Nina Tanabe of Pacific Food Technology.

* Dana Labels was honored as the industry’s Supplier of the Year.

* Central Pacific Bank was presented the Innovative Marketing Award for its television commercial promoting Kona Coffee.

* Pacific Gateway Center was awarded the Community Service Award.

“HFMA is excited to come together to honor all the companies, organizations and individuals who work very hard and do well to represent our local food manufacturing industry and participants,” said Byron Goo, President of the HFMA board of directors. “I want to congratulate all the winners and those who were among the finalists. I also want to thank all of our sponsors and the community for helping us celebrate our industry with the inaugural Taste Awards.”

The local food manufacturing industry generates $900 million in annual revenue and is the largest manufacturing sector in the state using local inputs according to the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization that serves as a conduit for resources, tools and expertise to benefit both existing and start-up companies as well as the food manufacturing industry as a whole.

Established in 1977, HFMA is currently the only statewide food manufacturing association in the United States.

With more than 125 member organizations, HFMA works to increase the understanding and appreciation of the unique flavors, quality and care that go into the production of Hawaii’s fine foods and beverages.

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