HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1184

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to food self-sufficiency.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. In the wake of the global recession that saw Hawaii's unemployment rate triple between 2007 and 2009, the legislature finds that rebuilding and diversifying Hawaii's economy to create new jobs, to put people back to work, and to build a strong economic base that carries Hawaii into the twenty-first century is a key priority.

The legislature further finds that Hawaii is dangerously dependent on imported food. As the most geographically isolated state in the country, Hawaii imports approximately ninety-two per cent of its food, according to the pacific regional integrated sciences and assessments program.

The legislature further finds that Hawaii's reliance on out-of-state sources of food places residents directly at risk of food shortages in the event of natural disasters, economic disruption, and other external factors beyond the State's control.

The legislature further finds that each food product imported to Hawaii is a lost opportunity for local economic growth. According to the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources, an increase in the production and sale of Hawaii-grown agricultural commodities would create a significant number of jobs. Replacing ten per cent of current food imports with locally grown food will create approximately two thousand three hundred jobs. Increasing the amount of locally-grown food by as little as ten per cent could keep hundreds of millions of dollars circulating within Hawaii's economy, stimulate growth, and create thousands of new jobs. Such diversification would help make Hawaii's economy more resilient to worldwide events such as global supply disruptions, potential global food scarcities, and increasing global demand for and shortages of commodities such as oil.

The legislature further finds that by establishing a food sustainability standard, Hawaii will be able to ensure a long-term commitment of resources and investment to producing a significant portion of Hawaii's food for local consumption. Such a standard will also create a framework for long term planning, including land use planning, resource allocation, and tax incentives, and will direct Hawaii towards a more robust and sustainable future.

The legislature finds that establishing an increase in the production of local food as a key state priority will diversify Hawaii's economy, create new jobs, advance Hawaii's long term economic stability, and boost the food security of Hawaii's people. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish a statewide food sustainability standard program.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

FOOD SUSTAINABILITY

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Department" means the department of agriculture.

"Farm cash receipts" means the gross revenue of farms derived from the sale of Hawaii-grown products including livestock, dairy, and edible crops, as determined by the department on an annual basis.

"Food sustainability standard" means the volume of food commodities sold in the State, measured by farm cash receipts or as otherwise determined by the department, that are grown in the State.

   -2 Department of agriculture; responsibilities. (a) The department shall be responsible for measuring and analyzing the amount of food livestock, dairy, and edible crop commodities grown and sold in the State on an annual basis. The department shall make the information publicly available in accordance with chapter 92F.

(b) The department shall, on an annual basis and in conjunction with the department of business, economic development, and tourism, identify key food commodities to be targeted for assistance in developing an increased local market share.

(c) The department shall be responsible for planning and adopting the necessary incentives to ensure that the food sustainability standard adopted under this chapter is met or exceeded.

(d) The department shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session on the status and progress of the department's efforts to effectuate this chapter and any recommended policy changes or necessary legislation.

(e) The department may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

   -3 Food sustainability standard. (a) A statewide food sustainability standard to be achieved by the year 2025 is hereby established. The food sustainability standard requires the State to increase the amount of food grown in the State for local consumption by at least double the amount grown in 2015 as measured by farm cash receipts without regard to inflation adjustments or by a comparable measurement as determined by the department.

(b) It shall be the priority of the State to achieve the food sustainability standard in subsection (a) in order to increase agricultural self-sufficiency. The State's compliance or future compliance with the food sustainability standard in subsection (a) shall be a standard or criteria in any decision that may impact the State's capacity to achieve the food sustainability standard.

(c) The department shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2025 regular session with findings and recommendations on ways to raise the food sustainability standard over the following decade."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $500,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2013-2014 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for carrying out the purposes of this Act, including the hiring of necessary staff.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2013.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Food Sustainability; Department of Agriculture

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Agriculture to develop a food sustainability standard to promote local food production to help diversify the local economy. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2013.

 

 

 

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