In a move to develop new locally produced dairies and dairy products in Hawaii, a business consortium has been formed by four diverse companies to create Tropical Dairy Solutions, LLC.
The venture is backed by Dairy Solutionz (USA) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dairy Solutionz (NZ) Ltd.; Ulupono Initiative LLC; Finistere Ventures, LLC; and Atlantic Dairy Consulting, LLC.
Tropical Dairy Solutions, LLC was formed to develop grass-fed dairy farms and processing facilities to produce a wide variety of dairy products in the state of Hawaii, including yogurt, cheese and ice cream.
Currently, the total amount of locally produced milk is less than 9 percent of the entire market with the rest imported from the Mainland.
The consortium aims to create sustainable dairy farms using proven, world-class methods that provide high quality, local dairy products at a competitive cost.
By drawing upon and adapting best practices from farm systems in New Zealand and the U.S., the consortium hopes to revitalize the dairy sector in Hawaii, where local dairies produced all of the state’s milk until 1984.
The consortium is looking at several suitable sites statewide.
Dairy Solutionz, Ltd, a commercial consortium of established agricultural producers, would target starting Hawaii operations in 2013. Their extensive background combines technology and delivery capabilities to provide leading edge, cost competitive, sustainable farm and processing systems.
They design and build, or convert large-scale farm operations that adopt leading low-cost technologies and systems, and deliver support and education for ongoing farm and processing operations.
Their successful dairies around the world led them to want to bring the same technology and knowledge to Hawaii with the goal of creating successful dairy operations that can produce and process high-quality milk.
“Each of the partners is deeply committed to the success of a viable dairy industry for Hawaii,” said Derek Fairweather, CEO of Dairy Solutionz (NZ) Ltd. “This is the next step in reinvigorating what some people saw as a small and declining industry, and reducing Hawaii’s dependence on suppliers that are thousands of miles away. The investments will also create many new jobs, both on and off the farm, on the various islands where we plan to establish farming and processing operations.”
“The long-term vision is to develop a sustainable, profitable dairy industry statewide based on farming the grass rather than relying on imported feed in an industrial agriculture model,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative LLC. “This vision could not have been achieved without the support of Kamehameha Schools, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc., Grove Farm Company and Finistere Ventures, all of whom worked together with us for two years on the initial feasibility studies and grass trials.”
He added, “Tropical Dairy Solutions LLC will use the grass trials to determine the optimal dairy sites and best approach to applying the pastoral system to Hawaii’s many climates. Ultimately, the goal of this entire effort is to make high-quality local milk and milk products available to our community, at prices that we can all afford.”
Tropical Dairy Solutions, LLC, is scheduled to open a Hawaii office in January 2012.
Dairy Solutionz (NZ) Ltd.
Draws from a New Zealand commercial consortium of established agricultural producers and suppliers. Dairy Solutionz, Ltd. combines experience, technology and delivery capabilities, provides leading edge, low cost, sustainable, pastoral farm production systems and associated processing. They design and build, or convert to large scale pastoral farm operations that adopt leading low cost technologies and systems. They also deliver support and education for ongoing dairy operations. www.dairysolutionz.co.nz
Ulupono Initiative strives to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by working toward solutions that create more locally grown food, increase clean renewable energy production and reduce waste. www.uluponoinitiative.com
Finistere Ventures, LLC
Finistere Ventures is a leading investment and venture capital fund in agricultural innovation with application in food, energy and health based businesses in San Diego, CA. The firm first promoted the opportunity for dairy investment in Hawaii five years ago when they also made an investment in Hawaii BioEnergy alongside Kamehameha Schools, Ulupono Initiative LLC, Maui Land & Pineapple, Inc. and Grove Farm Company.
Managing Director Arama Kukutai has a personal interest in dairy as founder and former chairman of PKW Farms, one of New Zealand’s largest dairy farms and native Maori owned businesses. www.finistere.com
Atlantic Dairy Consulting, LLC
Atlantic Dairy Consulting from the eastern coast of the United States provides consulting services to dairy clients around the world. Robert Fry, veterinarian, is the principal consultant specializing in management systems for dairy cows that offer a positive holistic approach toward efficient production through effective nutrition, sensitivity to animal welfare, and well designed preventative health protocols. www.stbrigidsfarm.com