Sugar Cane Grower and Processor
The firm is Hawaii’s largest producer of raw sugar
grown in Hawaii. It is also one of the largest
employers on Maui, with over 770 employees. The
company produces over 200,000 tons of raw sugar
annually, accounting for approximately 60% of all
sugar cane grown in Hawaii.
Beginning in 1998 the company implemented
major improvements to its farming and milling
process to improve yield and lower costs. However,
in 2000 sugar prices significantly decreased due to
a surplus of sugar production, and increasing low
cost imported raw sugar. As a direct result, despite
these investments, annual sales decreased 12% and
employment decreased 9%.
The company, with assistance from the University of
Southern California’s Western Trade Adjustment
Assistance Center (Western TAAC) became certified as
trade impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic
Development Administration in December of 2000.
Western TAAC and the firm's management developed a
strategy of being a premier producer of
agricultural-based products through the utilization
of modern technology, innovative thinking, and
skilled employees. This strategy focuses on
establishing itself as a low cost sugar producer,
while capitalizing on opportunities to improve
profitability by developing and expanding
by-products, value-added products, alternate crops,
and ag-based products.
The Company has successfully completed its 5th year
in the implementation phase of the TAA Program.
During this period the company, with Western TAAC
assistance, implemented its production engineering
project to improve the operating efficiency of its
electrical power plant, and three marketing, sales
and promotion projects to identify and launch
potential new value added product lines. Since
beginning its public/private sector partnership with
the TAA for Firms Program, sales increased 26% to
$97.3M and productivity increased 37% to $124,963
sales per employee.