- Local Farming
Food Safety Certification
In 2009 Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts and the Sheraton Waikiki partnered with the Hawaii Farm Bureau to support legislation that authorizes farmers to become food safety certified distributors to local businesses, including restaurants, hotels and other hospitality venues.
The purpose of the bill was to make it possible for more local produce to be featured in Hawaii’s restaurants to strengthen Hawaii’s economy and encourage agricultural cooperatives. Gaining such certification is a costly process that many Hawaii farmers had previously been unable to afford, with the result that it was difficult for high-end restaurants, such as those in Kyo-ya’s hotels, to feature a sufficient quantity of top-quality local produce.
Thanks to the efforts of Kyo-ya and others, the bill was enacted and $140,000 from the Hawaii tourism industry’s fund was transferred to a pilot program to help farmers gain certification. This is the first initiative in Hawaii where the hotel industry stepped up to help another important industry, agriculture.