Feedback – January 2012

January, 2012

More about “Not Made in Hawaii”

This article (“Not Made in Hawaii,” November 2011) is good but doesn’t go far enough. A big issue is when items are labeled with a locally identifiable name and the words “distributed” or “packaged” in Hawaii. These words do not mean that the product was grown or produced in Hawaii. Examples: Big Island Poultry – actually mainland fresh; many brand names of Hawaiian salt; 50th State Poultry; vegetables bagged in plastic. This kind of packaging is deceptive.


As a company with a long history of working with local suppliers, your story on “Made In Hawaii” products was of great interest. Unfortunately, it did not reflect our commitment to local sourcing.

Walmart has operated a Hawaii Buying Office for many years, has 22 associates dedicated to working with nearly 400 local suppliers, and our stores carry a wide variety of “Made In Hawaii” products. Last year, we spent more than $192 million for merchandise and services from our Hawaii suppliers.

Your reporter’s casual reference to some products carried in our stores did not accurately reflect our commitment to local suppliers.


The state of Hawaii is knowingly blocking the Geographical Identity Protection offered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Many times, farmers and producers have pleaded with local lawmakers for protection of agricultural products. The strong lobbying efforts of mainland importers always ruined these bills’ chances of becoming laws.

Enforcement should not be handled by the Department of Agriculture; just forward the numerous reports of violations that we farmers file to the state attorney general’s office.


OTEC Gaining Momentum

Ocean thermal energy (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii article, November 2011) is gaining momentum all over the world. For example, the Bahamas are committed to building the first two commercial OTEC plants. The work at NELHA deserves a lot of credit for making it possible. Keep track of the latest news at



In the print edition of the December 2011 article “Primetime for Fundraising” incorrectly reported the dates and ticket prices for some fundraisers. Hawaii Business apologizes for the errors.

All the fundraisers were held to raise money for 2012 elections, but 11 of the 52 fundraisers that were reported as being held in 2011 were actually held on the same month and day as originally reported, but in 2009 or 2010. Here are the 11 fundraisers with the dates they were actually held:
Sen. Rosalyn Baker: May 21, 2009, June 17, 2010
Sen. Brickwood Galuteria: May 7, 2009
Sen. Josh Green: April 28, 2009
Sen. Clayton Hee: Jan. 20, 2009,
April 15, 2009 and March 23, 2010
Sen. David Ige: June 17, 2010
Sen. Michelle Kidani: May 7, 2009
and May 4, 2010
Sen. Clarence Nishihara: May 7, 2009

The same article incorrectly reported the ticket prices for four fundraisers:

Sen. Michelle Kidani: May 7, 2009:
$150 per ticket  (not $500) Kidani,
May 4, 2010: $50 per ticket (not $150)
Kidani, April 21, 2011: $500 per ticket (not $50)
Sen. Barbara Marumoto: Sept. 7, 2011: tickets prices ranged from $50 to $2,000 (not $500 to $2,000), though Marumoto notes that no one actually paid the top price of $2,000.

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