As one of Hawai‘i’s top industries, agriculture and its products have remained an integral part of the economy of the Hawaiian Islands. From specialty crops, such as flowers, coffee, and macadamia nuts, to pineapples, sugar cane, ranching, and dairy, Hawai‘i’s tropical climate provides an agricultural opportunity unique from any other place in the U.S.
Notwithstanding Hawai‘i’s vibrant agricultural sector, Hawai‘i residents spend up to $3 billion per year importing more than 80% of the food consumed in the state of Hawai‘i. Delivering out-of-state agricultural products to Hawai‘i residents is a massive undertaking for wholesalers, distributors, and retail businesses selling agricultural products.
What We Do
- Sale and Lease of Agricultural Lands
- Water Supply and Water Rights
- Land Use and Permitting
- Land Use Assessment and Permitting for Post-Harvest Processing, Retail Sales, and Agricultural Tourism
- Mergers and Acquisitions of Agriculture and Food Distribution Businesses
- Farming, Food Processing, and Production Joint Ventures
- Capital Investment Programs Targeting Local Food Production
- Research Joint Ventures
- Wholesale and Distributor Contracts
- Regulatory Compliance (e.g., Food Safety, Food Labeling, Hazardous Waste Handling, Lanham Act, Advertising Laws, Environmental Compliance)
- Licensing (e.g., The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (“HDOA”) Dealer Licensing, Liquor Licensing, Industrial Hemp Licensing)
- Agriculture and Conservation Easements
Our attorneys have extensive experience with issues of daily importance to farmers, ranchers, input suppliers, packers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, and retail businesses selling agricultural products.
- Defended a longstanding firm client against claims challenging the validity of the decision of the Board of Land and Natural Resources to holdover Revocable Permits issued to our client relating to its water diversion in calendar years 2019 and 2020.
- Represented a landowner in connection with the preparation of water supply agreements for both potable and non-potable water.
- Represented a landowner in connection with issues involving the Commission on Water Resource Management relating to wells, drilling, and compliance matters.
- Represented a landowner in connection with agriculture and conservation easements.
- Represented a landowner in connection with land use assessment and permitting for post-harvest processing, retail sales, and agricultural tourism.
- Represented several ranches in a wide range of issues including quiet title, boundary issues, forestry, endangered species, leasing, employment, regulatory matters, and conservation sales.
- Represented vessel owners in connection with fishing industry regulatory matters, vessel registration, vessel sales, and vessel mortgages.
- Represented the buyer in connection with the purchase of assets of a Big Island dairy and the assumption of a Department of Agriculture (“DOA”) lease.
- Represented Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) investors in investments aimed at developing local agriculture and promoting food security in Hawai‘i.
- Represented the largest local supplier of perishable foods in Hawai‘i.
- Represented “Food Hubs” that directly connect farmers and customers.
- Represented an applicant for tax-exempt status for farming educational nonprofit entity.
- Represented landowners in connection with issues of agricultural land valuations for tax purposes, real property dedication petitions, and real property tax appeals.
- Represented landowners with rent reopenings, rent setting, and rent arbitrations involving rent under leases of agricultural land.
- Represented both landowners and lessees in disputes arising under agriculture leases, including matters that have gone to litigation.
- Represented owners of agricultural land in connection with efforts by condemning authorities to acquire land for roadway widening and rock fall mitigation purposes.