Seeking to educate and inspire, the organizers of SPROUT Hawaii aim to improve the process of food production and distribution from farm to fork.

“SPROUT Hawaii is designed to provide support and practical information for new and aspiring local farmers and producers,” said Claire Sullivan, Whole Foods Market Hawaii coordinator, purchasing and public affairs. “It’s really about working together to strengthen our local economy and self-reliance by helping to expand and diversify the local products available here on the islands.”

SPROUT Hawaii attendees will hear from community experts, Whole Foods Market Team Members, and exemplar producers. Experts to speak include Lou Cooperhouse, president and CEO of Food Spectrum LLC, Steven Chiang, director of the University of Hawaii Agribusiness Incubator Program, and Ken Love of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers. Successful local producers Ono Pops, Maui Brewing Co., Madre Chocolate, Chic Naturals, Maui Preserved and Kumu Farms will also share their stories and insight at the seminar.

Existing and aspiring local farmers and producers in attendance will learn how to become Whole Foods Market suppliers as well as obtain information on financing, distribution, Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program and more. For a full list of topics that will be covered at SPROUT Hawaii or to RSVP, please visit http://sprouthawaii.eventbrite.com/.

SPROUT Hawaii is free for registered participants and will be held at the following dates and locations:

• August 6, 2013: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Aston Aloha Beach Hotel, Kaua‘i
3-5920 Kuhio Hwy, Kapa‘a, HI 96746
Register for this event at http://sprouthawaiikauai.eventbrite.com/

• August 8, 2013: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
University of Hawaii Maui College
310 W Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului, HI 96732
Register for this event at http://sprouthawaiimaui.eventbrite.com/

• August 10, 2013: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Kapi‘olani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI 96816
Register for this event at http://sprouthawaiioahu.eventbrite.com/

To learn more about Whole Foods Market’s SPROUT Hawai'i, visit http://sprouthawaii.eventbrite.com/.

About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 73,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2012, the company had sales of $11.7 billion and currently has more than 340 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

About The Kohala Center
The Kohala Center (http://www.kohalacenter.org) is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based center for research, education, and conservation. The Center was established in direct response to the request of island residents to create greater educational and employment opportunities by enhancing—and celebrating—Hawaii’s spectacular natural and cultural landscapes.