A workshop entitled "Value-Added Innovation for Hawai'i Growers: Making the Family Farm Profitable" will help growers hone their skills at adding value to their products and services. The free workshop will be held on March 21st in Holualoa, Kona.
Competing with cheap imported agricultural goods, many Hawai'i farms have a difficult time selling their products profitably as raw commodities. The workshop will show how Hawai'i farm enterprises can differentiate their products to become more profitable, and therefore viable businesses.
"Small-farm enterprises are a crucial component of Hawai'i's agriculture as we attempt to meet the diversity of our food needs," says Dr. Robert Paull, an expert in crop quality at University of Hawai'i, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. "These enterprises need to be sustainably managed and economically viable. Value-added practices are essential for increasing potential for small farm profitability."
The workshops will give participants insights into a range of subjects such as profitable crops and varieties, price setting for different markets and developing processed products. Participants will leave the workshop with an expanded understanding of adding value to all products and practices, while reducing risks and maximizing profits. The presentations emphasize ways to focus efforts at minimal cost for maximum effect, approaches that control risk, and resources for business planning.
"Adding value is an essential component of small farm sustainability," says Ken Love, culinary educator and one of the workshop presenters. "There are many different ways to add value in growing, processing, and marketing products. This workshop is about finding those ways of adding value to your operation that are best suited for you and that are ultimately profitable."
The workshop will be led by Craig Elevitch, Ken Love, and specialist presenters at each workshop location. Elevitch is an agroforestry educator whose most recent book Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011), provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing. Love, widely known as a passionate advocate for the innovative small farm, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, Hawai'i, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits, and coffee.
For more information and to register, visit www.valueadded.info or call 808-756-9437. The first 30 registrants for each workshop location will receive a free preview copy of the new publication (in press): Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawai'i: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation. The workshop is produced with funds from the State of Hawai'i Department of Agriculture.