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Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Thielen Makes Final Push for Local Food Production Mandate
By News Release @ 7:25 PM :: 4061 Views :: Energy, Environment

House Majority Rejects Final Effort for Food Sustainability Standard

News Release from Office of Rep Cynthia Thielen
Honolulu – Hawai‘i State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) today tried to save a food sustainability bill widely supported by local farmers by amending another agricultural bill, HB 280 HD1 SD2 CD1, on the House floor.
This amendment, which would have added the language in HB2703 HD2 SD2 to HB280 HD1 SD2 CD1, would mandate that the Department of Agriculture to develop a food sustainability standard which promotes local food production. Representative Thielen's amendment required that, by 2020, food grown in Hawaii for local consumption would double from the amount which was grown in the state in 2014.
"Our farmers were so disappointed when the original bill, HB2703 HD2 SD2, was killed in Conference Committee only a few days ago," said Representative Thielen, adding, "Hawaii cannot afford to ignore the importance of establishing food sustainability standards. We currently have only a 10 day supply of fresh produce. We import 92 percent of our food and we are the most geographically isolated state in the nation."
She also told House members that farmers desperately need legislative support and Hawaii is missing a huge opportunity for self-sufficiency and economic growth in the agricultural sector.
"By not passing this amendment which establishes food sustainability standards, the Legislature again has neglected an opportunity to offer our agricultural community much needed relief and support. Hawaii is just days away from disaster if our food resources were cut off. We have no control of escalating prices based on shipping and fuel costs. Our farmers and local agriculture provide a safety net and insurance that will protect our state for generations to come," said Representative Thielen.
"According to the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, replacing ten percent of food imports with locally grown food would create a total of 2,300 jobs. This is in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars which would be kept in Hawaii's economy, stimulating growth and strengthening our local economy," noted Representative Thielen.
Representative Thielen's amendment was killed today on the floor by the House Majority.
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Rep. Thielen delivers amendment relating to SB280 - agriculture

Measure Title: RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.

Report Title: Agriculture; Hawaii-grown Coffee; Penal Code

Description: Makes the offense of false labeling as to the geographic origin of Hawaii-grown coffee a class C felony. Authorizes the department of agriculture to adopt administrative rules relating to the inspection and documentation of the geographic origin of Hawaii-grown green coffee beans. Removes the requirement that all Hawaii-grown green coffee beans shall be inspected and certified by the Department of Agriculture unless otherwise specified by rules of the Department. Requires that no Hawaii-grown coffee beans shall be shipped outside the area of their geographic origin unless they have been marked with or contain documentation of geographic origin approved by the department of agriculture. (HB280 CD1)

Description

The purpose of this bill is to repeal requirement that all Hawaii-grown green coffee beans be inspected and certified by DOA for grade and origin and related prohibition on shipping uninspected green coffee beans outside area of geographic origin.

Version HD1 of this bill removes requirement that DOA inspect and certify all Hawaii-grown green coffee beans unless otherwise specified by DOA rules; removes prohibition on shipping Hawaii-grown green coffee beans outside area of geographic origin unless they have been inspected by DOA.

Cuts bureaucratic red tape by eliminating lengthy delays caused by necessity of DOA inspections. Also allows green coffee beans to be shipped out of their district much faster, thus simplifying business operations and alleviating storage problems for coffee growers.

Supporters

Kona Coffee Council, Hawaii Coffee Company, Hawaii Coffee Association, Rural Kona Mill and Museum, Greenwell Farms, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Dole Food Company, Captain Cook Coffee Company, McDonalds of Hawaii, numerous individuals.

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P_XMJoKKnU 

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