By 2030, increase the directory of available and locally sourced food to meet an increased demand, and ensure local food sourced is efficiently streamlined through distribution channels--chefs, businesses, entrepreneurs, farms, and grocers.
Local food is distributed through a variety of markets, including farmer’s markets, direct sales to restaurants, wholesale distribution to supermarkets, co-ops and institutional purchasing such as through schools. Actions to improve distribution channels of local food in Hawai‘i include increased marketing to visitors and building further networking and learning opportunities between local chefs, businesses, food entrepreneurs and farms in order to smooth inconsistencies in supply and demand. In addition, increased availability of locally produced food and groceries in supermarkets is important for consumers.
Farmer’s Markets & Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Farmer’s markets are prevalent across the state and are an opportunity for local growers to sell the food they produce. Additionally, community-supported agriculture (CSA) can ensure that there is a demand for the local food being produced on a weekly basis. The venue and consistency of supply and demand both contributes to the goal of doubling local food production and consumption, and can reduce food’s carbon footprint as there is minimal shipping and handling and food is fresher without the travel time from overseas.
Currently, there are 90 farmer’s markets and CSAs in Hawai‘i that residents have access to. The interactive map below includes the name and location of farmer’s markets and CSAs across Hawai‘i and is based on a compiled list from state and county sources such as the Department of Agriculture and community websites. This map provides a snapshot based on available data, and may not be comprehensive. Kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide any additional information.
Figure 1: The map above indicates the number and location of farmer’s markets per county (Source: Organic Hawaii & Department of Agriculture).
The USDA also houses a directory of farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to consumers at a reoccurring physical location. This Local Food Directory can be applied statewide in addition to states on the U.S. Mainland.
Farmer’s markets are widely dispersed across the Hawaiian Islands. Farmers who have worked hard to produce quality, local goods present food to customers that understand the importance of buying local and supporting local farmers. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits spent at farmer’s markets is on an increasing trend. This could point to the advocacy of investing in programs like this that allows people to access local, healthy, and fresh food more readily.
Agricultural products are widely distributed across the island. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS), as of February 2018, about 661,347 were sold. This metric includes crops, livestock, poultry and their products.
Farm-to-School (F2S) Program
In 2015, Hawai‘i established a Statewide Farm to School Program (F2S) in the Department of Agriculture to positively influence keiki’s relationship with their food and the `āina (that which feeds us) and improve the health of children through the support of school gardens, health and nutrition education, agriculture, and the State’s procurement of locally grown foods. (Act 218 (SLH 2015). Farm to School Program activities include: growing school gardens, purchasing & serving locally grown food, cooking and taste-testing of locally grown food, conduction student filed trips to farms/orchards/ranches, engaging in agricultural production & marketing and exploring agricultural career options. Metrics related to F2S are available through the USDA 2015 F2S Census for Hawai‘i i, but are being refined to more accurately represent progress in F2S. According to the survey, in 2015, 47% of Hawai‘i School Districts reported participating in farm to school activities.
Based on a new USDA/ NASS survey, this indicator shows the quantity of sales and monetary value farms and roadside stands bring to local vendors and direct sales to consumers. This metric will be updated every five years through the Local Food Marketing Practices Survey of NASS.
Food hubs such as Oahu Fresh specialize in aggregating, storing, processing, distributing, and marketing Hawai’i-grown products from households to restaurants and hotels.
Figure 3: Oahu Fresh model for food hub.
What You Can Do
- Learn where your fish comes from by tracing your fish through Local I‘a's QR code at local vendors or learn more on their website: http://localiahawaii.com/
Learn More and Make a Difference
- View Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s farmer’s market listings: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/farmers-market-listings/
- The Local Food Directory helps locate farmer’s markets, on-farm markets, CSAs, and food hubs: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/local-regional/food-directories
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) provides economic benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families for food purchases: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/state-snap-ed-contacts/hawaii
- Fishcoin--An emerging blockchain-based traceability innovation that allows independent industry stakeholders to harness the power of blockchain using a shared protocol so that data can be trusted, transparent, and secure . To learn more, watch this short video that explains the intention behind data transparency in the fishing industry.