Alongside our partners at Mahi Pono, next year, Shaka Tea will be expanding our supply chain to Maui (read more here). Shaka Tea sits down withJustin Teixeira, Director, Field Operations at Mahi Pono who was born and raised in Haliʻimaile, Maui, Hawaiʻi.
We love Mahi Pono’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and regenerative farming.
Can you share more about your vision and what you are growing?
At Mahi Pono we are currently growing citrus, coffee, potatoes, avocado, papaya, onion, and various vegetable crops for local consumption. Our commitment to sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We utilize best management practices to reduce potential negative impact to the land we steward, and promote crop health for years to come. We invest in our community in a variety of ways, including through the build out of our workforce with local hires, and ensuring that our crop first goes toward local consumption before export. We see our role in Maui’s future not only as food producers, but also as contributors toward the diversification of our economy.
Commitment to our community is something both Mahi Pono and Shaka Tea share.
How did you come up with your paid, summer internship program for Maui youth and what is your goal with the program?
The summer intern program is an investment into the future of agriculture here in Hawaiʻi. Taking the interest of the students and showing them a career path in agriculture that they may not have known about is important to Mahi Pono. Agriculture is changing fast, and the profession is diversifying with today’s technology. There are a lot of opportunities and hopefully some of the exposure the interns received will benefit the industry in the future. We look at our role in Hawaiʻi’s agriculture sector not only as growers of crops, but also as growers of jobs. If ag is to succeed, we need a strong foundation built upon today’s youth.
What gets you and the Mahi Pono team excited about planting māmaki?
Māmaki is uniquely of Hawaiʻi. It’s exciting to see interest in it increase over the years, as it has been a huge part of our culture for such a long time. Having the opportunity to share products like this with the global market is very exciting for those of us committed to agriculture in Hawaiʻi.