Meadow Gold’s Strategy: Double Down on Local

The company’s new owner plans to expand its dairy products and juices while adding a line of soy milk and other plant-based beverages – all with local ingredients
Fob Meadow Gold 1800x1200
Photos: Getty Images; Photo collage: Kelsey Ige

Meadow Gold, a company stretching back 124 years in Hawaiʻi plans to continue its legacy by emphasizing local ingredients and local products.

“Without local ingredients, (Meadow Gold) doesn’t really have a long-term sustainable position in the market,” says Bahman Sadeghi, a Hawai‘i Island dairy farmer who bought the Meadow Gold brand and most of its Hawai‘i assets in April 2020.

“So, we have to go back to basics and say as a local processor, we have to produce local ingredients, local products. And therefore, we have to invest in local dairies, for example. But before you invest in local dairies, you have to invest in local feed because without local feed, local dairies cannot exist. We can’t depend on Mainland feed – bring in their feed to feed the cows here to make milk. We have to produce the feed here.”

Sadeghi did not buy Meadow Gold’s former 2-acre headquarters on Sheridan Street near Ala Moana Center, but instead acquired a new facility in Waipahu. He is also planning to expand Meadow Gold’s Hilo plant to increase production.

His blueprint doesn’t end there: Meadow Gold is finalizing plans to release a line of almond, soy, oats and macadamia nut beverages, made with local ingredients, Sadeghi says. Megahn Chun, marketing manager for Meadow Gold, hopes these products will be on sale by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Making Meadow Gold’s ingredients and products in the Islands means more jobs and money in the local economy, Chun says. A new cohort of interns is part of Meadow Gold’s vision of keeping Hawai‘i’s people interested in developing local agriculture, she says.

Sadeghi also wants to continue Meadow Gold’s long history of supporting the community.

“We’re involved with the University of Hawai‘i athletics department and working with local organizations to support them and create partnerships – for example, the Children’s Discovery Center, working with Pow! Wow! and we did a campaign with POG for the vaccination process. So, any opportunity to give back to the community, I think I see that as one of the pillars of Meadow Gold’s missions, to be engaged and continue to invest in its partnerships.”

POG is Meadow Gold’s popular passion, orange and guava beverage.

2022 will be Meadow Gold’s 125th birthday in the Islands, a reminder of the importance of emphasizing local ingredients and production.

“It’s really to continue working on sourcing lands, so that we can grow local feed and create more dairies and increase dairy processing here in Hawai‘i because they all work in tandem with each other,” says Chun.

“If you don’t have a processor, where is the dairy going to process our stuff? … If you don’t have the feed, where does the dairy have to go and get their food? From the Mainland, which is super expensive. So, all of these three things need to be set up so that we can create a sustainable blueprint for Hawai‘i.”

 

 

Categories: Agriculture, Business Trends, Economy