Hawai’i State Governor Neil Abercrombie visits UH Maui College.
News Update: Hawai’i Governor Abercrombie Tours New Maui Food Innovation Center
Governor Abercrombie Releases Funds for UH Food Innovation Center on Maui
The Opportunity: Three years ago the Food Innovation Center was conceived by the Maui County Farm Bureau as a business incubator where growers and entrepreneurs can turn excess harvests or low-price fresh crops into more profitable value-added products, such as frozen, dried, preserved or canned foods.
Value-added products not only increase the profit margin for farmers and ranchers, but help stabilize agricultural businesses since value-added products have a fixed price while the market for fresh food can fluctuate greatly.
UH Maui College not only had an ideal facility — a cafeteria left empty when kitchen facilities moved to the Pilina building, but expertise in recipe and product development, food safety, nutritional analysis, packaging design and support for marketing, business development, distribution and storage through its Maui Culinary Academy. Ultimately, serving farmers and entrepreneurs, the entire concept of Food Innovation is key for future economic growth in Maui County and State of Hawai’i.
Successful prototypes, business plans, and strategic planning and execution will lead to new products, new jobs, and economic diversification for the State. When open, this Center will be the first-of-its-kind in Hawai’i, and will be based at UH Maui College. Supported by visionary top State government and business leaders, this is a unique opportunity for donors to make a Maui-based Food Innovation Center a reality.
Supporting Organizations: Maui Farm Bureau, Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, Tedeschi Winery, Maui Gold Pineapple.
Description: This facility will be equipped to produce test batches and full production of wet, dry, hot and cold processed foods, with labeling and a range of packaging options. It will be available for community use on a fee basis, and will serve farmers on Maui (and statewide) interested in developing and producing food products.