Food producers gain new access to business capital

August 25, 2014 (Hawaii 24/7)—A new no-interest loan program is available for Hawaii Island farmers and food producers, in an effort to increase local food production, reduce dependence on imports, and strengthen local businesses. The Kohala Center, with support from the County of Hawaii, has created the Hawaii Island Food Producers Fund to increase access to capital for the island’s food producers.
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Hawaii Island Schools May Get More Local Produce

May 8, 2014 (Hawai‘i Public Radio)—The Hawaii Island School Garden Network has a goal of exposing students around the island to the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Generally that means the kids grow food in the school garden. But the Garden Network is looking at bringing in local fruits and vegetables another way, too. From Hawaii Island, Sherry Bracken has the story.
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USDA program brings local produce to local schools

May 6, 2014 (West Hawaii Today)—On the mainland, big farms can find ways to sell their produce to small school districts, but with the situation reversed in Hawaii, local farmers sometimes find it difficult to get their products to the state’s large public district, says Nancy Redfeather, program director of Hawaii Island School Garden Network.

That’s where the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program comes in. The program provides funding to eligible schools — those serving students in kindergarten to sixth grade with at least half of the student population qualifying for free or reduced lunch — to purchase locally grown produce for morning and afternoon snacks.
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Study Examines Hawaii’s Organic Food Industry

May 5, 2014 (Hawai‘i Public Radio)—An organic certification is a way for customers to make sure the food they’re buying fits certain standards. But that can be challenging for many farmers here in Hawaii, especially since the state has no locally-based certifier. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on a recent study that takes a closer look at some of the issues and challenges faced by Hawaii’s organic food industry.
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Organic farming tax breaks mulled

February 2, 2014 (West Hawaii Today)—Organic farmers could see more green, and not just in their fields. Puna makai Councilman Greggor Ilagan has introduced a bill that would give certified organic farms a break on their property taxes. The legislation, which the County Council’s Finance Committee will consider Tuesday, would lower the tax assessment for the farms from as much as $4,000 per acre to $420 per acre for nondedicated agriculture land.
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