The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service recently collaborated with five current farmers market and agritourism managers to craft a Hawaiʻi-specific best practices manual. The 36-page cookbook-style manual is an easy-to-read rapid reference for new and experienced vendors at farmers markets and agriculture tourism venues.
“Hawaiʻi Farmers Market and Agritourism: Best Food Business and Food Handling Practices for Farmers and Vendors is based on solid experience from people who run some of Hawaiʻi’s best farmers markets,” says CTAHR’s Jim Hollyer, who funded the project with resources from the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Development Corporation.
Luisa F. Castro, the project coordinator for the manual from UH Hilo, says, “We did extensive research on similar guides and tested out and refined the content with two panels of experienced farmers market vendors, so we know we have a useful educational tool.”
The farmers market manual covers marketing and food safety in significant detail, illustrated with dozens of photo examples. Contributors represent all Hawaiʻi counties, different organizations, and a variety of markets. “We looked for experience, market leadership, and a willingness to contribute all they know from our co-authors, and we are pleased with the collaboration,” says Castro.
Co-authors include Nancy Ginter-Miller, Produce to Product, Inc.; Pamela Boyar, FarmLovers Famers’ Markets; Lani R. Weigert, Hawaiʻi Agritourism Association; Neil Coshever, Upcountry Farmers Market and Melissa McFerrin Warrack, Kauaʻi County Farm Bureau, in addition to Castro and Hollyer.
Copies are being distributed to each island by the authors. Additional copies can be obtained by contacting Castro by email or at (808) 974-7664. The manual can also be downloaded for free from the CTAHR website.