February is Hawaii Grown Cacao Month

Barb Forsyth

HONOLULU—A piece of chocolate is at the desk of every State representative today to announce the importance of supporting an industry that is exclusive to Hawaii in the United States.

“February is the month to support the local cacao industry in Hawaii,” said Hawaii Rep. Corinne Ching (R), who was responsible for the day’s chocolate awareness campaign. Ching represents Nuuanu, Puunui, Liliha, and Alewa Heights.

A measure was adopted by the Legislature last year to make February the official “Hawaii Grown Cacao Month.”

The largest grower, Dole Food Co., has about 13,000 trees on 20 acres in Waialua on Oahu’s North Shore. There are 30 farmers growing cacao in the state, and about 100 acres of cacao.

According to the State Agriculture Department, there is potential for cacao farming to cover 315 acres to 3,000 acres on the island.

On Saturday, February 26, from noon until 5:00 p.m., there will be a celebration of cacao at the Hawaii Chocolate festival at Dole Cannery .

For more information on the Hawaii Chocolate Festival,http://www.hawaiichocolatefestival.com/ click here