Business

Māmaki Association to Hold Inaugural Conference

March 30, 2018, 10:38 AM HST
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Māmaki AssociationThe Māmaki Association, a new, nonprofit organization focused on representing farmers and value-added companies using māmaki, will launch with the Inaugural Māmaki Conference that will be held at Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch in North Kona on Friday, April 6, 2018.

Māmaki is an endemic plant only found and grown in Hawaiʻi.

Māmaki Association Founding President Mike Rogers shared the goals of the conference.

“Māmaki is really an incredible opportunity for Hawaiʻi,” said Rogers. “Global demand for health foods is at an all time high and māmaki has such great health benefits. More importantly, it’s endemic; Hawaiʻi is the only place māmaki is found in the world. The planting of māmaki in itself is an act of environmental conservation, cultural preservation and agricultural revitalization.”

Māmaki, which has been consumed traditional as an herbal tea and tonic for good health in traditional, Native Hawaiian medicine, has received increased local, national and international attention and interest, both in ready-to-drink formats, with local company Shaka Tea recently receiving national distribution.

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The tea is also available in dried form, which can be found in local retailers across the islands. It is also exported to Japan by numerous local brands and is sold in speciality tea shops across the continental US and online.

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A study from the University of Hawaiʻi shows that māmaki, which is naturally caffeine free, is a nutrient-dense leaf, filled with antioxidants and micro and macro minerals, including having two to five  times more catechins than green tea has.

The Inaugural Māmaki Conference will highlight best practices for farming with a focus on agroforestry and sustainable agriculture; new innovation in the industry; research from the academic community; business case studies; and traditional usage of māmaki in lāʻau lapaʻau, will be highlighted.

This invitation-only, one-day conference on April 6 is presented by the Māmaki Association and made possible through the support of Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch, Kamehameha Schools, Paradise Beverages, Shaka Tea, Central Pacific Bank, Tea Chest and J Creative Works.

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Founded by māmaki enthusiasts, business owners and farmers in early 2018, the Māmaki Association is a new, membership-based organization built on the foundation of inclusivity, knowledge-sharing and aims to be a unifying force in the nascent māmaki industry, creating an island-wide community invested in the māmaki industry. In addition to presenting an annual conference, the Māmaki Association will run professional development workshops throughout the year; serve as a network for industry professionals; and host a variety of educational and cultural events for the public, celebrating and raising awareness on all the benefits and usages of māmaki.

For more information, go online.

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