Maui Business

12th Annual Hui Holomua Biz Fest on October 17

September 19, 2018, 8:13 AM HST
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The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 and will be held at the King Kamehameha Golf Club this year in Waikapū.

Mayor Arakawa giving opening remarks at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Fest. File photo courtesy County of Maui.

This year’s theme “Ko koā uka, ko koā kai–Those of the upland, those of the shore” will examine the interdependence between those who grow, manufacture, prepare and consume food.

Organizers say Hawaiʻi’s ability to produce its own food has steadily dwindled over the last 30 years, and now 90% of food is imported from elsewhere.

According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawaiʻi will need to feed 1.65 million people by 2045.

“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 MNHCoC president Teri Freitas Gorman. “The bare supermarkets 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.”

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The event’s first presentation, “ʻĀina Momona (productive land)” will demonstrate how Hawaiʻi’s largest private landowner, Kamehameha Schools, is repurposing much of its land for agricultural use based in Hawaiian traditions. State senator 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 our people.

Luncheon Keynote speaker, Chef Sam Choy will talk about his bumpy road to success as one of the influential leaders of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine “farm to table” approach. PC: courtesy MNHCOC

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

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

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

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

Hawaiian cultural protocol is always featured at the Biz Fest. Traditional Hawaiian music by Auntie 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 MNHCoC, a charity auction will benefit Pūnana Leo O Maui Hawaiian Language Immersion School.

Seating is limited to 350 guests Admission is $75 for members and $85 for non-members. Those interested in attending can RSVP and pay in advance online or pay by phone by calling (808) 757-3045. The conference always sells out.

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

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