HAWAII, US - Egg companies, Hidden Villa Ranch and Rose Acres Farms, are to develop a new egg farm in central Oahu - the investment in the egg sector in Hawaii for some years.
A partnership involving two of the largest egg distributors and producers in the U.S. plans to develop an egg farm on Oahu, reports Pacific Business News (PBN).
The new facility would help Hawaii reduce its reliance on importing fresh eggs from the Mainland and increase the sustainability of the food supply in the Islands, an executive for one of the companies confirmed to PBN.
The partnership involves California’s Hidden Villa Ranch, one of the largest egg distributors in the US, and Indiana’s Rose Acre Farms, one of the nation’s biggest egg producers.
Michael Sencer, an executive vice president with Hidden Villa Ranch, told the newspaper that his company has been working on the project with Scott Enright, chairman of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
He said: “While the size of the project has not yet been determined, we believe a project that increases employment and produces fresher food to the marketplace helps advance the goals of the Department of Agriculture.
“With the guidance of the Department of Agriculture, we continue to believe this project has a high probability of success.”
Mr Enright told PBN that the project is tentatively planned for Dole Food Co.-owned lands in Wahiawa in Central Oahu and could involve one million hens housed in a state-of-the-art facility.
A development timeline has not been set yet, although Mr Sencer said it could happen as quickly as the permitting process allows.
He added: “We will start very small and see where the market will take it. Our hope is for a very ‘green’ facility, powered by our own solar panels. We would like to make it visitor-friendly so the public can see how their local eggs are produced and how we take care of our birds.”
The plan is to develop a cage-free operation where the birds can roam freely in the barn.
Mr Sencer added: “Hawaii has not had a modern layer barn built there for many years and we felt it was time to try.”
The PBN report adds that Hawaii ranks 45th in the US in sales in the poultry and eggs commodity group, according to the most recently available statistics from the US Department of Agriculture.ThePoultrySite News Desk