HONOLULU (KHON2) — A bill that would require a minimum of 10% of produce purchased by state departments to be locally grown heads to Governor Ige after passing both the state House and Senate.
The bill, which was introduced by Representative Scot Matayoshi, aims to support local agriculture and help ensure that state funds used for the procurement of produce remain within the state and directly support local businesses.
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“If our state is truly committed to reviving our agricultural industry and diversifying our economy, we need to put our money where our mouth is. That starts with supporting local farmers and weaning our state away from our dependence on tourism,” said Rep. Matayoshi.
The bill requires that a minimum of 10% of the produce purchased by state departments is grown locally by 2025. That percentage increases every five years to 50% by 2050. Each department would be required to submit an annual report to the Legislature with the total of local produce purchased as measured by cost per calendar year.
“We see the progress being made towards clean energy set years ago. This bill will set us on a similar path for both our local agricultural industry and food security,” added Matayoshi.
Locally grown agricultural products include fruits, nuts, coffee, vegetables, meats, fish, dairy and poultry products. Local value-added products must contain at least 51% agricultural product grown, raised and harvested in Hawaii.
“Improving our food security is a must. We need time to grow our agricultural industry to the point where Hawaiʻi can survive a shipping disruption without everyone immediately clearing the grocery store aisles,” said Matayoshi.
The governor has not indicated when he intends to sign the bill.