Tea Innovation Symposium Coming Soon

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The Hawai‘i Medicinal Tea & Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop) is hosting its Third annual Tea Innovation Symposium on Feb. 20, 2019. HawaiiTea.Coop has future development plans to develop 100 acres in 10 years. This year’s theme is: What is Specialty Tea? There will be tours of the facilities and fields, as well as, lectures given by Nigel Melican and Jeni Dodd. Both Melican and Dodd are world renowned experts in the specialty tea industry.

3rd annual Innovation Symposium

Takeshi Akatsuka, Jason McDonald and Eric Swilley, who comprise the Executive Committee of HawaiiTea.Coop, issued a statement about the efforts, “We are pleased to offer an educational day on specialty tea progress in Hawaii and its future impacts for the area farmers.”

“Indeed this could be a long needed coop model for other ventures,” said Dean Bruce Mathews of the UHH College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

The symposium on Feb. 20, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., highlighting the work being done at three locations in Volcano and Mountain View. The public is welcome to attend. They will also be hosting a Member Recruitment Day Feb. 21, from 9 to 11 a.m. Both events start at Akatsuka Orchid Garden.


The Hawai‘i Medicinal Tea & Herb Cooperative (HTC) was established in March 2016 by award winning Mississippi tea farm developer Jason McDonald and Grif Frost, serial entrepreneur and Hilo based cooperative business development specialist. In July 2016, Takeshi and Corinne Akatsuka, second generation owners of Akatsuka Orchid in Volcano, joined the Cooperative. In April 2018, Eric Swilley of Mana Property Development and Nigel Melican of Teacraft joined HTC to develop Hawaii based tea farms and to provide turnkey tea farm development services for landowners and investors. HawaiiTea.Coop has future development plans to develop 100 acres in 10 years.

Akatsuka Orchid Garden is located at 11-3051 Volcano Road in Volcano.


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