With the demise of sugar, food makers that use only Hawaii ingredients are buying and stockpiling tons of sugar.
Ono Pops, a Kalihi maker of organic popsicles, took delivery of three tons of sugar on Monday which it plans to store over the coming months. But when that supply runs out, the company said its prospect of finding an alternative, local source appears dim.
"We've debated that it might be the end of Ono Pops. If we couldn't find sugar it doesn't seem worthwhile making a product that was all about 100 percent local and not being able to honoring that promise," said Josh Lanthier-Welch, company co-founder.
Lanthier-Welch hopes that Alexander & Baldwin Inc., which owns Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., will set aside a small portion of its sugar plantations acreage for small sugar growers. The idea would be that local companies such as rum distilleries and bakeries could set up a cooperative to grow sugar.
But for now, that idea is still appears to be a long shot. HC&S will hold its final harvest next month.