By Wendy Osher
An all-day summit, designed to plant and inspire seeds of success among island farmers and producers takes place this week in Kahului.
The SPROUT Hawaiʻi event is free to participants and is hosted by Whole Foods Market in partnership with The Kohala Center.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College campus. (Registration is available online at Sprout Hawaii Maui.)
Attendees of the SPROUT Hawai’i event will hear from community experts, Whole Foods Market team members and producers.
The list of speakers includes: Lou Cooperhouse, president and CEO of Food Spectrum LLC; Steven Chiang, director of the University of Hawai’i Agribusiness Incubator Program; and Ken Love of Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers.
Local producers will also share their stories and insight at a seminar during the event including participation from: Ono Pops, Maui Brewing Co., Madre Chocolate, Chic Naturals, Maui Preserved and Kumu Farms.
“SPROUT Hawai’i is designed to provide support and practical information for new and aspiring local farmers and producers,” said Claire Sullivan, of Whole Foods Market Hawai’i in a company press release.
“It’s really about working together to strengthen our local economy and self-reliance by helping to expand and diversify the local products available here on the islands,” she said.
In addition to obtaining information from experts, the event also serves as a building point for inspiration and networking opportunities within the community. Attendees will also learn how to become a local supplier and learn more about financing and distribution.