HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mahi Pono, LLC, today announced the purchase of approximately 41,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company lands on the island of Maui from Alexander & Baldwin. This agreement ensures the continued use of these lands for agriculture, the preservation of green, open space in Central Maui, and a consistent and long-term source of revenue for the local economy.
Mahi Pono (which means “to farm or cultivate morally and properly”) is a farming venture between Pomona Farming, LLC, a California-based agricultural group, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments)—a long-term investor and one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers.
Mahi Pono is planning a full range of agricultural operations and related uses. There are no plans to convert any of the lands to non-agricultural purposes.
“With our purchase of this fertile land, we want to help ensure that Maui’s residents can produce agricultural products for future generations,” said Ann Chin, President, Mahi Pono. “We want to expand Maui’s thriving and diversified agriculture industry. As we develop our plans, we will work closely with local stakeholders, including the agricultural community, our neighbors, government officials, civic leaders and the local community.”
“Mahi Pono is committed to sustainable agriculture,” added Chin. “We will be stewards of the land, and responsible users and protectors of Hawaiʻi’s natural resources and environment.”
“This agreement significantly increases the potential for a meaningful advancement in food security and a renewed pledge to growing agriculture on Maui, topics that continue to resonate with me since I initiated the ʻAina Pono Hawaiʻi State Farm-to-School Program in 2015,” said Shan Tsutsui, former Lt. Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, former State Senator from Maui and Mahi Pono advisor. “It’s my hope that the fruits of this agreement will have a lasting impact on our keiki (children), the agriculture industry, and the state’s ability to become truly sustainable for many years to come.”
Key elements of Mahi Pono’s plans include:
- Production of high-quality, non-GMO foodstuffs for local consumption, with export potential.
- Creation of jobs for local residents, with job training and educational programs for employees.
- Providing land and water in an agricultural park for use by small, local farmers.
- Providing local partners with resources such as farming expertise, farming resources and equipment, and development and farming capital.
- Mahi Pono took over diversified agricultural leases, and purchased Kūlōlio Ranch and Central Maui Feedstocks, from A&B as part of this agreement.
- A&B and Mahi Pono will form a joint venture to own and operate East Maui Irrigation Company.
- All of A&B’s active agricultural personnel will be offered positions with Mahi Pono.
About Pomona Farming
Pomona Farming is committed to using natural resources responsibly, employing the very best farming practices, and acting as a positive contributor to local communities. It has significant experience farming diverse agricultural crops and managing cattle operations on over 100,000 acres. The company is focused purely on agriculture and has a track record of making long-term investments in farming projects.
About PSP Investments
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with CAD$158.9 billion of net assets as of September 30, 2018. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages net contributions to the pension funds of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montréal and offices in New York and London.
PSP Investments’ Natural Resources Group is committed to responsible, long-term investments in the agriculture and timber sectors globally. It partners with like-minded operators focused on best practices in health and safety, the environment and sustainability. For more information, visit investpsp.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.