Welcome to the Maui Food Innovation Center!
The Food Innovation Center is a project of the University of Hawai`i Maui College (UHMC), created to solve the “missing link” problem for Hawai`i’s local farmers and food manufacturers. It is being developed in collaboration with the Maui County Farm Bureau.
The Center will serve as a hub for food industry resources, will provide food-related business and product development services and workforce training, and will include a comprehensive value-added facility which can be used to develop, produce, and package such items as fresh cut and frozen fruits and vegetables, marinated meats, dried and baked goods, sauces, and juices.
The Center has received the following critical support to date:
- $1.225M State Legislature appropriation to fund design and construction for a new facility, released by Governor Abercrombie on December 25th, 2011
- $750K from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund food product development services, education and training*
- $50K from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund a feasibility study and business plan
Why A Food Innovation Center Is Needed
The State of Hawai`i currently imports 90% of its food, and is taking aggressive measures to increase capacity for local food production. Value-added options for all our agricultural crops have been identified as a key need. This missing link is especially critical on the neighbor islands, where agriculture plays a more significant role in the economy.
In other states, food innovation centers have injected millions of dollars into local economies by launching new products and new companies focused on local ingredients. These facilities lend farmers and food entrepreneurs the expertise, equipment, and organizational resources to develop products with higher profit margins through:
- Value-added pricing
- Longer shelf life
- The ability to capture value from culls and damaged produce
- Access to new markets
*This project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program.