Fruit growers across the State of Hawaii, around the Pacific, on the US mainland, and as far away as India are familiar with the valuable contributions Ken Love has made towards promoting small fruit farmers’ economic sustainability. Here on his home island, Ken recently received much-deserved recognition for his passionate support of Hawaii fruit production and value-added product local and export food development. Tirelessly championing new farmer-to-consumer connections, Ken has touched many lives with his efforts to promote Grown in Hawaii products, here and abroad.
Currently serving as the President of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, Ken co-chairs annual fruit conferences, works with chefs to bring locally grown products to our restaurants, and recently has been on different islands across the state hosting fruit tastings at retail grocery stores, such as Whole Foods on Oahu. Ken educates the public in many ways, commenting “In 1960, Hawaii grew 90% of its own food. By 2000, we were IMPORTING 90% of our food. Change is happening. We are now at about 85% imported food but that is still only 15% locally grown.”
Ken was presented with a Hawaii-made koa wood “We’re all in the Same Canoe” paddle at the Fruit Lover’s Fest held at the One Island Sustainable Living Center in Honaunau. I am “very humbled and honored to receive a life time achievement award from One Island Sustainable Living Center for my work with tropical fruit and developing systems and diversification programs for small family farms.”