September 12, 2013


Hawaii Farmers: “A tremendous boost,” “It has the potential of becoming a very strong part of Hawaii agriculture”

Here is what folks in Hawaii are saying after Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will lift its ban on Hawaii Sharwil avocado shipments to the mainland. Hirono led efforts among her delegation colleagues to get the USDA to lift the ban, a goal long-sought by Senator Dan Inouye:

  • “Move over, Haas. Guacamole connoisseurs around the U.S. will soon have a new domestic avocado to try — not from California or Florida, but Hawaii,” announced the Associated Press.
  • After Inouye’s death, avocado farmers contacted U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, who collaborated with the state’s three other congressional delegates to support lifting the export ban,” reported West Hawaii Today.
  • “Senator Mazie Hirono was behind the push to lift the ban, arguing the avocados are a poor host for fruit flies,” KHON reported.
  • “Tom Benton of the Hawaii Avocado Association said changing the federal rules took a lot of work and time but was worth it,” explained the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
  • “It has the potential of becoming a very strong part of Hawaii agriculture," Benton told the Associated Press. “I feel we could easily be on par with coffee or macadamia nuts or any other section of Hawaii agriculture... We are more worried about supply than demand.”
  • “For agriculture, it’s going to be a tremendous boost,” said avocado farmer Bruce Corker to West Hawaii Today. “We’ve had a closed market for so long now.”
  • “Sen. Mazie Hirono noted that relaxed Hawaii avocado export rules had been advocated by the state's congressional delegation since 1992, and now will benefit local farmers and the local economy,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
  • “This USDA ruling will directly benefit Hawaii farmers and our economy,” Hirono told West Hawaii Today. “Advancing local food has long been a cornerstone of my push to make our state and economy more sustainable, and I’m very appreciative the USDA has made this critical ruling.”
  • “Growers mostly on the Big Island and Maui produce roughly 1 million pounds of the fruit each year,” explained Associated Press.