Moku Pahu file photo. Credit: ShipSpotting.com
The sugar transport ship Moku Pahu departed Kahului harbor in Maui last Friday carrying the final cargo of sugar produced by the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, marking the end of an era for sugar production in the Hawaiian Islands.
The Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) was founded in 1870 and grew to become Hawaii’s largest sugarcane grower with its 36,000 acre plantation on Maui. In January HC&S parent company Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. announced it was transitioning out of the sugar business to pursue a more diversified agricultural model for its Maui plantation after the company reported an operating loss of $15 million in its agribusiness in 2015. Final sugar operations were scheduled to be phased out by the end of 2016.
“A&B’s roots literally began with the planting of sugar cane on 570 acres in Makawao, Maui, 145 years ago,” said Stanley M. Kuriyama, A&B executive chairman, back in January when it announced the changes. “Much of the state’s population would not be in Hawaii today, myself included, if our grandparents or great-grandparents had not had the opportunity to work on the sugar plantations....MORE