Terez Amato, a long-time cane-burning opponent who ran for the state senate seat representing South Maui in 2014, issued a statement about Alexander & Baldwin’s announcement that it is transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model for its 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company plantation on Maui.
“Today represents a new start for agriculture here on Maui,” said Amato. “With the news that HC&S will be transitioning to other crops and bringing an end to the antiquated process of cane burning, our workers and our community will be able to come together to forge new avenues of health and prosperity for our island!
“This is an amazing, and unprecedented, opportunity for Maui County,” Amato continued. “I applaud HC&S and Alexander & Baldwin for making this bold change towards enhancing Maui, not only for today, but as a home for our children tomorrow.
“Personally, as a North Kīhei mother of children who have been hospitalized after bad burns, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it makes me feel that after this year, not one more single child will ever again make a cane smoke-induced asthma attack trip to the emergency room!” said Amato.
“My son will literally breathe easier knowing that his health comes before corporate profit,” she continued. “Many of us have worked tirelessly to provide this opportunity and to stand up for the rights of the people of Maui. Let us never forget that we have a right to health, clean air, clean water and food, and affordable housing.
“We recognize and thank HC&S and A&B for seizing the opportunity and at last acting in the interest of their workers and indeed the entire affected community,” she said. “As a citizen advocate, I want to assure the community that I will continue working for the people on these important issues.”
MAUI NOW STORY LINK
A&B/HC&S to Transition Out of Sugar Production