HCCA 2016 Annual Meeting on Maui

HCCA 2016 Annual Meeting on Maui

The 2016 Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association annual meeting and conference will be held on the weekend of March 12 and 13 on Maui.  On Saturday, March 12, a farm tour will be held on my farm in Lahaina, Maui Ku‘ia Estate Cacao, beginning at 11:00 am.
Ten acres will have been planted and another ten acres are in development.  On the farm we have explored many windbreak and shade tree options and best practices for an arid farm site will be demonstrated.  Saturday evening a reception/dinner will be held at my house in Kapalua (see map and directions).  On Sunday, March 13, the annual business meeting of the HCCA will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the conference presentations scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.  The lineup of speakers and the schedule of talks are listed below.  The conference will be held in the Science Building at UH Maui College (see map and directions) in Kahului and will involve representatives from the Maui Culinary Academy and the Maui Food Innovation Center.  The conference is being co-sponsored by UH Maui College and the Maui Food Innovation Center and we thank them for the use of the facility and their participation.

9:00 am   -    HCCA annual business meeting and election of board of directors.

10:00 am -   Derek Lanter (Waialua Estate) will speak on the proposed Dept. of Agriculture Administrative Rules governing the labeling of Hawaii-grown cacao and Hawaiian chocolate products.

10:30 am -   Dan Corson (Hamakua Chocolate Farm) will speak about the trials, tribulations and successes of setting up and running their cacao farm. He will dive into site analysis, conceptual framework of the farm and its projected trajectory in the near future.

11:00 am -  John Sharffenberger has excelled in making fine sparkling wine and artisan chocolate. He will share his insights about both in his talk "A Winemaker's Look at Artisanal Chocolate".

12:00 pm -  Dan O’Doherty (Hawaii Cacao Foundation) will speak on small and large-scale fermentation as an introduction to a recently published manual on the subject.

12:30 pm -  Box lunch available in atrium. No eating in lecture hall.

1:00 pm   -  Skip Bittenbender (CTAHR) will summarize his annual cacao survey.

1:30 pm   -  Dylan Butterbaugh (Manoa Chocolate) will introduce the Hawaii Cacao Foundation, its mission and early objectives to further the growth of the industry.

2:00 pm   -  Gunars Valkirs (Maui Ku‘ia Estate Cacao and Chocolate) will speak about whether anyone can make money by growing cacao in Hawaii. The cost of development of a 10-acre farm will be discussed with real numbers and predicted return on investment.

2:30 pm   -  Pam Williams and Dan O’Doherty will present a new method for grading raw and roasted cocoa beans developed in conjunction with the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute.

3:00 pm   -  Maui Food Innovation Center presentation and panel discussion with chefs and other foodies.

3:45 pm   -  Wine and chocolate tasting. An opportunity to taste three excellent chocolates and three wines chosen to highlight the possibilities.

Hotels are available in Kahului, the Courtyard by Marriott Maui at Kahului airport, the Maui Seaside Hotel, and the Maui Beach Hotel.  All are close to UH Maui College with the last two being a 10-minute walk away.  It is a 5-minute drive from the conference site to the airport.  Lahaina, the site of the farm tour, is a 40-minute drive from the airport and Kapalua, the site of the reception/dinner, is another 20 minutes farther.  Many hotels are available on the Lahaina side, especially in Kaanapali, but generally they are more expensive than the ones in Kahului.  Ride sharing is highly recommended for the events in Lahaina and Kapalua.  The road to the farm is a one-mile long dirt road once you turn off of Lahainaluna Road and although it is suitable for passenger cars, we recommend that you either ride share from your hotel or meet at the farm gate where there is parking and ride share from there.  Those attending the dinner at my home in Kapalua should also ride share because there is limited parking and no parking on the roadway in front of my house.  Everyone purchasing a spot at the dinner event must provide the names of the people attending since my home is in a gated community with a live security guard who will not admit people who are not on the attendance list.
The conference fee is $125 with lunch included, the farm tour is $75 with lunch included, and the dinner is $75.  HCCA members that renew their memberships for 2016 at the full, certified or associate levels are eligible for discounts of $25 for the conference and farm tour. Friends of HCCA for 2016 can use a single $25 discount for either the conference of farm tour.  Please renew your memberships now at www.hawaiichocolate.org and book your spot on the website for the farm tour, dinner and conference.
Gunars Valkirs
President, HCCA