HONOLULU – April 30, 2019 – Kalona Brand Company, LLC (“Kalona”) announced today that it has launched a new vertically integrated sustainable agricultural venture on Oahu’s North Shore focusing on growing cacao, ʻulu, and avocado to create value added food products including premium Hawaiian chocolate bars for both local and off-island markets. The 222-acre farm is designed to produce measurable environmental and community benefits. The company also plans to establish a 20-acre local foods component which will provide fruits and vegetables to Hawaii’s local schools and communities.
The founders of the company include Hoʻoulu Mahiʻai LLC, an affiliate of Kamehameha Schools, Equilibrium Capital Group, and Greenleaf Farm Management.
Founder of Greenleaf Farm Management, and one of the company’s Board of Managers is Eric Pond, a 21-year veteran of agricultural industry who has developed and managed over 6,000-acres of permanent croplands. Pond has been involved in the project since its inception and stated, “We have been laying the groundwork for this venture for over four years now and I’m very excited that we are now moving forward with this regenerative farm concept to improve the soil, restore the forest, and create sustainably grown food and value-added agricultural products for the community.”
Kalona has secured a lease from Kamehameha Schools to establish the farm in Kawailoa above Haleiwa Town. The company will be planting permanent tree crops and native windbreaks which will restore the forest canopy and rebuild the soil on land had previously been used for corn and sugar cane.
Kawika Burgess has been hired as the Chief Executive Officer overseeing the company’s operations. “We’re seeking to create sustainable abundance as our namesake Kalona Iki created generations ago, through regenerative agriculture and the development of a uniquely Hawaiian brand of food products,” said Burgess.
About Kalona Brand LLC: Kalona Brand, LLC is a vertically integrated, sustainable farm, focusing on cacao, ulu, and avocado crops. Kalona seeks to regenerate agriculture in Hawaiʻi by developing sustainable farm operations and food systems. We strive for sustainable food systems that provide long term financial viability, actively engage and strengthen communities, steward the ‘āina with environmentally sound land use practices, and competitiveness in a global economy.