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Big-Time Billionaires Invest in an Organic Hawaii

Two billionaires to date have been raking over the idea of organic farming in Hawaii. Last month, Larry Ellison (who recently bought 98-percent of Lanai) spoke publicly about his plans to turn the island “into a model for sustainable enterprise” by way of organic farms. And most recently, media mogul and Maui landowner Oprah Winfrey filed several trademark applications for “Oprah’s Organics.”

Her line of grocery products will include frozen veggies, soups, salad dressings, dips and beverages. Beauty products – including soaps and shampoos – will also fall under that trademark. And according to recent media reports, the filed trademarks point to Oprah’s farm on Maui. The produce will be distributed throughout the Hawaiians Islands.

With acres of fertile land and ideal tropical weather, it’s no wonder they chose Hawaii as a place for organic farming. We’re already home to dozens of wonderful farming operations that have been supplying the islands for decades. But at the same time, Hawaii’s sadly also the site of genetically-modified organisms. Hopefully this recent hype in organics will push away GMO operations and give birth to a new wave in sustainable farming.

This is also obviously great for Hawaii’s economy. The more monies invested into our island’s money pot, the better it is for everyone – including residents and local businesses. People island and nationwide will benefit from eating fresh Hawaii-grown fruits and veggies that also boast an organic label.

While no plans or dates have been made public just yet, I think it’d be cool if these upcoming organic farms provided tours to locals and visitors. There’s already a booming farm tour biz on the North Shore of Oahu; why not on other islands as well? Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Nov 17, 2012