HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative is made up of about 100 farmers — most of them on the Big Island — who grow ulu, Hawaii’s indigenous breadfruit.
"It's part of the culture of Hawaii and that's something we don't want lost," the cooperative's Andrew Trump said.
To work toward that goal the cooperative puts ulu into the market in different forms.
"We have some members that have one or two trees, and we have other members that have 500-plus trees," he said.
Trump said ulu has both culinary and health benefits.
"For a starch it has high mineral and vitamin content," he said.
Chef Kealoha Domingo calls ulu a versatile “superfood.”
"It can replace a potato in any dish," he said. "It can also be used in things like yogurts, in humus, in gravies. I use it for thickener. I use it in so many different ways."
As a farmer Trump's excited about the local breadfruit's potential to reduce Hawaii's reliance on imported food.
"You can grow hundreds of pounds on a single ulu tree," he said.
"Ulu is a great starch that actually grows on a tree," Domingo said.
The cooperative hopes to revitalize the ulu industry and make it more available for farmers to grow and for people to eat.
"We're taking ulu from being a backyard growing venture to making it open to everyone whether you're a backyard grower or a commercial farmer," Trump said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic ulu has been included in some food distributions.
Trump believes ulu has all the attributes to be a good Hawaii export product.