Hawaii State Legislative sessions have new watchdogs this year.  Glenn Martinez and Natalie Cash spoke at the hearings for the many farmers who cannot attend.  Through the data base of HFUU, Glenn and Natalie were able to hear the voice of their membership and represent local growers. 
www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/SB2027_.HTM  is an alternative bill written in plain English, by farmers with the intent of creating a Food Safety Bill that stands on education of farmers and consumers.  HB2027 contains self audit components and 3rd party certification audits.  HB2027 did not move out of committee because the farmers are too inexperienced with legislative processes.  

Now, Glenn and Natalie have put out an alarm on the final day of the first half.  HB1947 is a bill that is titled "Food Safety": www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/HB1947_HD1_.pdf 
HB1947 cites the cantaloupe outbreak as a reason for the need.  The outbreak they cite was a large scale industrialized agriculture operation.  Local growers in Hawaii don’t have large risks. This bill has all kinds of mumbo jumbo language that will cause public officials to come down hard on the reporting requirements of local growers.  That is a direct threat to an industry we need to encourage to grow, an industry we need to celebrate not a group we need to pile more costs onto their backs.

Nearly 100% of the people who testified in front of the Ag Committee and in front of the Finance Committee spoke strongly against HB1947.  Unfortunately,  HB1947 was passed on for consideration in the Hawaii Senate.

Hawaii Farmers Union United is the voice of local agriculture, small scale agriculture, indigenous agriculture and the voice of people who care about eating fresh and nutrient dense food.  Local agriculture represents Food Security and Food Sovereignty.  Laws such as HB1947 are a direct threat to the growth of the most important industry in Hawaii – Agriculture.

Contact us at:  
Bill Greenleaf
Greenleaf Farm
Hawaii Farmers Union United Treasurer