Resiliency is always an important topic for Hawaiʻi’s food industry, and this year’s Convention panel revisited this conversation. Our panelists included government, business, and NGO experts in food and energy and touched on how resilient our State is now, and what’s needed to improve our resiliency.
Amy Marvin, CEO Hawaiʻi Foodbank
Jennifer Walter, Deputy Director, Department of Emergency Management City and County of Honolulu
Maile Miyashiro, Sr. Director, Customer Experience, C&S Wholesale Grocers and incoming HFIA Vice Chair
Ryan Day, Account Executive, Hawaii Gas
And our Moderator Caroline Carl, Executive Director of Hawaii Energy.
Caroline started off the discussion with an important note on the definition of resiliency, “The ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult events.” For Hawaiʻi, this ability is not just an advantage, it is a necessity. As a geographically isolated island community that is currently dependent on imports, Hawaiʻi’s food supply chain is vulnerable to disruption due to natural disasters and other crisis. Much of our critical infrastructure is aging. Other infrastructure is located in the likely inundation zone during a hurricane or tsunami. Estimates about how much food is located in the state at any given time vary from a weeks’ worth to much less, depending on the levels of bulk buying and hoarding before a disaster strikes. These challenges mean there is an added sense of urgency for those working to make our state more resilient. As the businesses that feed our state, HFIA’s members, and the association itself, play an important role in creating more resilient food systems for Hawaiʻi. Our panelists explored this vital topic and offered some valuable insight into key aspects of the resiliency discussion.