The Economy And Buying Local

By Byron Goo
President of Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association and CEO of The Tea Chest

Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) was established in 1977. Today, with more than 125 member organizations, HFMA works to increase the understanding and appreciation of the unique flavors, quality and care that go into producing Hawaii’s fine foods and beverages.


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Byron Goo

Our member companies represent 30 percent of food manufacturers in the state, including numerous kamaaina companies and household names such as Hawaiian Host, Hawaiian Sun, Aloha Shoyu and several startups.

According to data compiled by Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, food is the largest manufacturing sector using local products as inputs, generating more than $900 million in annual revenue for the state’s economy.

In fact, I believe Hawaii’s food manufacturing will be one of our state’s key economic drivers for decades to come.

On June 14, HFMA will have a milestone event when we sponsor our first-ever Taste Awards in Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery to honor outstanding companies in Hawaii’s food manufacturing industry.

Co-sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture, the awards recognize individuals, companies and products that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and contribution to the manufacturing industry and to the community.

We’re very excited to launch the Taste Awards to recognize the best of the best in our industry. There’s a lot of hard work and many wonderful stories to tell about the local companies that produce the great food products found throughout Hawaii’s homes, stores and restaurants.

I want to congratulate this year’s finalists and every HFMA member for their contributions to our state’s economy. All of you represent our industry well and are a source of pride for Hawaii.

Also, mahalo to the people of Hawaii for your support by buying local, because it truly does matter.

For more information about HFMA and the Taste Awards, visit