By Wendy Osher
A resolution that seeks the establishment of a working group to discuss and recommend labeling requirements for Hawaii-grown tea, is scheduled for a senate hearing this afternoon.
The senate concurrent resolution is aimed at protecting Hawaii-grown tea, just as coffee grown in Hawaii is labeled and protected to encourage increased employment and revenue.
Lawmakers say research shows the global tea market is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the specialty tea market projected to double in the next five years.
UH researchers at the College of Tropical Agriculture also believe that Hawaii-grown tea, camellia sinensis, has the potential to become a specialty crop for the state.
The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Economic Development & Technology will hear testimony this afternoon at the state Capitol.