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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Business Wire
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

One Million Trees Planted on the Island of Maui

November 10, 2021 GMT
One million trees planted in Central Maui by Mahi Pono. (Photo: Business Wire)
One million trees planted in Central Maui by Mahi Pono. (Photo: Business Wire)
One million trees planted in Central Maui by Mahi Pono. (Photo: Business Wire)

KAHULUI, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 9, 2021--

A major step in reducing the impact of climate change and increasing Hawaii’s food security needs was celebrated today on the island of Maui when Mahi Pono, a Maui-based farming company, reached a milestone of planting 1 million trees. In less than three years Mahi Pono has returned 41,000 acres of land to diversified agriculture. Prior to the company’s acquisition of the land, it was used solely for sugarcane production for 125 years. CLICK HERE for photos and b-roll of event and farm.

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One million trees planted in Central Maui by Mahi Pono. (Photo: Business Wire)

“Planting 1 million trees is no small task and the impacts that it will have in fighting climate change, producing locally-grown food and creating jobs are all positive for the island of Maui and our state,” said Kainoa Casco, project manager for farming and sustainability for Mahi Pono. “This milestone is part of the bigger picture for sustainability at Mahi Pono and we are only at the start of our responsible farming journey.”

As an island state, Hawaii imports nearly 90 percent of all of its food. Since 2018, Mahi Pono and its team of 300 employees have worked to change that statistic by focusing on transforming former monocropped sugarcane fields into a thriving hub of diversified agriculture that prioritizes food sustainability and reduces Hawaii’s reliance on imported food.

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“Maui is facing monumental threats from the worldwide climate crisis. A key element in reducing the effects of climate change and eventually turning it around, is to plant and maintain a large number of trees,” said Rob Weltman, founder of ReTree Hawaii, a statewide tree planting effort.

Among the 1 million trees planted are a variety of citrus plants, coffee, avocado, papaya, ulu (breadfruit) and several types of windbreak plants including hau and milo, both native to the Hawaiian Island.

The 1 millionth tree planted today was ulu, a type of breadfruit and a staple Polynesian food crop. “We chose ulu to be our 1 millionth tree because it symbolizes what we are striving for at Mahi Pono: to sustainably feed Hawaii for generations,” said Tiare Lawrence, community relations director at Mahi Pono. “ Ulu trees can grow to a large size, provide hundreds of pounds of food annually, sequester carbon, reduce the need to till the soil or control weeds, and are heat and drought tolerant.”

Mahi Pono’s responsible farming practices, aided by modern technology, has enabled the company to reach its tree planting goal in less than three years, while significantly cutting back on emissions and making efficient use of resources, including water. Some of the technology incorporated into their farming operations include, water-efficient drip and fanjet irrigation techniques that reduce water consumption and installation of weedmats throughout the orchards to keep the soil moist which reduces water needs and also reduces the need for herbicides to control unwanted weeds.

“Planting 1 million trees is a testament to the hard work of the incredible Mahi Pono field teams,” Lawrence further commented. “Our teams are comprised of local Maui residents who come to work each day eager to change Maui’s food future and move the farm forward for all of Hawaii.”

“Our goal is to be a climate positive organization. For Mahi Pono, sustainability is about working collaboratively with the broader community to achieve Hawaii’s environmental, social, cultural and economic goals as a whole,” concluded Casco.

For more information about Mahi Pono visit, www.MahiPono.com.

About Mahi Pono:

Mahi Pono is a local Maui farming company that owns and operates approximately 41,000 acres of agricultural land in Central Maui. It was created in 2018 in a joint venture between Pomona Farming LLC, a California-based agricultural group, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers. Mahi Pono is committed to practicing sustainable agriculture, to growing food for local consumption, to the responsible use of natural resources, and to providing high quality agricultural employment. For more information, visit www.MahiPono.com.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211109006666/en/

CONTACT: Dawn Hirai

Dawn@strykerweiner.com

(808) 722-9445

KEYWORD: HAWAII UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: FOREST PRODUCTS AGRICULTURE NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENT

SOURCE: Mahi Pono

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 11/09/2021 08:53 PM/DISC: 11/09/2021 08:53 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211109006666/en