In recent decades, Hawaiʻi’s agriculture has faced significant challenges, with the decline of the pineapple and sugar cane industries. However, the beef industry in Hawaiʻi has seen a resurgence, thanks in large part to recent revitalization and investment in local processing plants. Kelly Simek spoke with Jesse Hoopai, the Ranch Manager of Makani Ua Ranch Limited, to discuss the recent changes in Hawaiʻi’s local beef production.

Traditionally, 90% of beef calves born in Hawaiʻi were shipped to the mainland due to a lack of local processing capacity, despite Hawaiʻi importing 90% of its beef. The situation changed when an Idaho rancher and philanthropist invested over $25 million in two processing plants, bringing them up to state-of-the-art standards. This investment allowed 172 ranchers to have a place to process their beef.

Safeway has also played a crucial role in supporting local ranchers by offering shelf space for the Kama`Aina brand, representing their beef.

The changes in the industry over the past two years have been significant. Local ranchers now have the capacity to process and sell their beef locally, benefiting both small and large ranchers. The creation of the Kama’Aina brand has allowed all local ranchers to sell their grass-fed beef in Safeway stores across Hawaiʻi.

Under the Kama’Aina brand, a variety of beef products, including roasts, steaks, and lean ground beef, are available. Supporting this brand means not only enjoying delicious grass-fed beef but also contributing to Hawaiʻi’s self-sustainability and supporting local ranchers, their families, and communities. To support Kama’Aina ranches visit