Hawaii Grown Tea Potential Specialty Crop

April 9, 2012, 8:00 AM HST · Updated April 9, 8:01 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

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.

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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.

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