Did you know that if Hawaii were hit by a natural disaster, we would only have only two to three weeks supply of food – and that’s not considering that people would begin hoarding the minute that fear of the disaster hit! In the aftermath of a frenzy of people buying all they could, Hawaii’s food supply could last only a few days! I was shocked to hear that on Thursday at a luncheon our company sponsored called “The Next Steps in Farm to Table.” Hosted by the Hawaii Society of Business Professionals, the lunch featured a panel of restaurateur Alan Wong (pictured right), local farmer Richard Ha (pictured center), and master sommelier Chuck Furuya (pictured left). We were excited to be asked to sponsor the event because we are passionate about the importance of buying local and have great respect for the three speakers and all they have done to promote local producers.
The event was entertaining and educational. Alan shared that if our community just increased its purchases from local farmers by 10%, this would result in an incremental $94 million for our farmers and an additional $188 million in sales for our economy. Without question, supporting local farmers is good for our ENTIRE community. As Richard put it, “Food security has to do with farmers farming. If farmers make money, they farm.” In other words, if we buy more local produce, farmers can afford to farm more and we will be less dependent on outside sources of food – and contribute to a healthy economy in our state.
To me, what they said really made sense. And there is no reason why we should not all commit to buying 10% more local produce. Here at Foodland, we have made a commitment to increase what we buy from local farmers. We now carry more local produce than any other supermarket retailer in the state. And we took the big step of grouping all our local produce together so you could find it more easily. But we won’t stop there, we are continually looking to see how we can continue to grow our business with not only local farmers, but other local producers as well. As a local company, doing so is an important way we can continue to support the community that we care deeply about.
I hope you’ll join me in taking a step to buy 10% more local produce every time you shop! Working together, we WILL make a big difference. And who knows, maybe we can exceed that 10%!!