For Immediate Release

Nov. 18, 2005

 

Love Family Farms of Captain Cook, has been awarded a grant from the Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council. Titled Exotic Tropical Fruit Value Added Products & Market Research, the $18,248.00 will enable the company in conjunction with the Hawaii Community College, West Hawaii Culinary Arts Program to purchase fruit from area farmers for student chefs to develop various products that they will sample and sell.@ The products will be available at culinary events, local shops and at the schools public lunches. Students offering samplings will ask a number of market research questions in order to determine price and taste preferences from both residents and visitors. The market research results will be published on Hawaiifruit.net at the end of 2006.

 

gThis is a great opportunity for us to gain knowledge on consumer taste preferences

as well as pricing structures for unusual tropical fruit productsh said Ken Love, president of Love Family Farms Inc. and president of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers - West Hawaii. gThe farmers are able to sell fruit that there is no regular market for-- yet, the students gain knowledge on product development and marketing and should continue to purchase the fruit when they move into the work place. Everybody wins,h Love said.

 

Some of the more unusual fruit students will work with include, bilimbi, jaboticaba, gourka, lulo and otaheite gooseberry. gWe are looking forward to offering the students products at the Made on the Big Island Outlet shop inside King Kamehamehafs Kona Beach Hotel,h said Roy Galigo, shop manager. The shop will feature student products at the beginning of 2006.

 

All funds generated from product sales will go to the HCC West Hawaii Culinary School to make the program sustainable after the grant is finished. hThe project provides our West Hawaii Community College culinary program with needed exposure and cutting edge curriculum, students benefit by learning how to create recipes using unique exotic fruits and have the opportunity to learn and apply farm to table practices, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, labeling, distribution, wholesaling, retailing and research and development.h Said Chef Paul Heerlein the schools chef instructor.

 

 

gThis Project will build upon the firm base of learning and cooperation between the Love Family Farms, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers and the Culinary Arts students in the Food Service Program at Hawaii Community College - West Hawaii.@ Our students have increased their culinary skills in tasting, designing, and producing jams, chutneys, jellies, syrups and sauces from a wide variety of fruits grown on the Big Island of Hawaii. The guests at our luncheons constantly comment on the unique flavors in the four-course meals the students prepare from fresh fruit supplies. Learning, cooperation, tasting, designing, producing, marketing and selling are all student-learning outcomes of this project. It is a fine example of hospitality workforce development using project based learning techniques,h said Jim Lightner, coordinator of the colleges Hospitality Training Institute.

 

 

For More Information:

 

Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council

933-6996

www.bigislandrcd.org

 

Love Family Farms

Ken Love, 323-2417

ken@mycoffee.net

www.hawaiifruit.net/index-bircd.html

 

Hawaii Community College West Hawaii

Jim Lightner, 322-4853

lightner@hawaii.edu