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  • 18 Mar 2022 12:18 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    It’s no secret that we’re in a challenging labor market. Local employers have shared with us that hiring and retaining good employees has been difficult. Unfortunately, this reality presents a major obstacle for businesses looking to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.

    Some local small businesses have found that working with an HR partner has made all the difference in helping them hire and retain. We’ve seen proof of this success across our own clients, with the average ProService client being 11% larger in headcount than they were prior to the pandemic. 

    That said, I wanted to share a guide that shows exactly how HR partners can help and the benefits they provide to local businesses: Should you keep HR in-house? Or outsource it?

    If you’d like a 1:1 consultation to learn specifically how ProService can assist your business, I’d be happy to set that up for you. Feel free to respond to this email with the best time and number for me to reach out. P.S. In case you haven’t heard, we’re hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 23rd from 2-3 p.m. with local experts who will be sharing tips and ticks on the topic of hiring/recruiting. Click here to learn more and register! 

    Jody from ProService

    Business Development Specialist

    ProService Hawaii | 
    6600 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu, HI | Direct: 808-468-6764

    Click here to schedule your business consult.

  • 18 Mar 2022 12:15 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source

    Got pilikia (trouble) with the community about your farm? Try this.

    Many people are generations removed from growing food for a living. They haven’t had a farmer in their family in decades and don’t understand some of the basic farming practices. 

    Despite recent efforts to grow more good locally, Hawaii still imports more than 90 percent of its food from off island. This makes it difficult for people to get to know farmers and the challenges they face, which can lead to misunderstandings or even conflict.

    Perhaps a neighbor has asked about how you fertilize your crops or control pests on your land. You may have received a complaint about noise or smells associated with your operations. Or you may have been criticized about how you care for your animals. 

    Farmers can be hesitant to engage with neighbors or community members about these issues because they fear the situation might blow up, making things worse.

    Mediators can work with farmers to help address right-to-farm issues like these, but you also can learn how to talk about your farming practices so that your neighbor feels heard, possibly resolving things on your own.

    How to defuse a tense conversation

    1. Listen and Ask Questions

    Before you share any facts, help the person feel heard and show you understand their concern.

    “I haven’t heard that before, where did you get that information? Can you tell me more about why this is important to you? Have you experienced this firsthand?”

    2. Restate What They Said

    People like to know that you understand them. Let them know by repeating what they shared. 

    "It sounds like you’re concerned about water contamination from the pigs and the health of your family”

    3. Make a Connection

    Shared values are three to five times more important to building trust than focusing on one version of the facts. Find a connection, for example, the health of your family, your love of hunting, land stewardship, or protecting water quality.

    “We share your goal of protecting the land for future generations. We use the least amount of chemicals possible to control any pests.”

    4. Acknowledge Them

    Continue reading...

  • 24 Jan 2022 1:12 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE (NASS) Pacific Region Coffee Production - Released January 21, 2022

    Click here for a USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service report release.

  • 19 Jan 2022 7:52 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

    Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of #4 free at-home tests from Here’s what you need to know about your order:

    • Limit of one order per residential address
    • One order includes #4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
    • Orders will ship free starting in late January
    Order Here
  • 19 Dec 2021 5:07 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    This year HCA participated in the 2021 Taiwan Coffee & Tea Show. Click here to see the report prepared by the Bearing Corp.

    The event was successful  and re-starts some potential momentum in the Taiwan market for 2022.

    They  also created a video with highlights of the event, which you can see here.

  • 13 Dec 2021 10:11 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Original Source

    The FDA is asking establishments currently exporting certain food products to China to voluntarily submit information. We are making this request in response to new facility registration requirements from China. While China has not confirmed that collecting this information is a prerequisite for U.S. establishments to export to China, the FDA is making this request as a precaution against potential trade disruption.  In April 2021, China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) announced new registration requirements that affect all overseas food manufacturers, processors, and storage facilities of food products exported to China. These requirements are described in China’s Decree 248 and will be in effect on January 1, 2022.  

    Articles 7 and 8 of the Decree require the exporting countries’ competent authorities to recommend registration of establishments involved in the export to China of certain food categories:

    1. Meat and meat products
    2. Aquatic products
    3. Dairy products
    4. Bird nests and bird nest products
    5. Casings
    6. Bee products
    7. Eggs and egg products
    8. Edible oils and fats
    9. Stuffed wheaten products
    10. Edible grains
    1. Milled grain industry products and malt
    2. Fresh and dehydrated vegetables and dried beans
    3. Condiments
    4. Nuts and seeds
    5. Dried fruits
    6. Unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans
    7. Foods for special dietary purposes
    8. Functional food

    For products that do not fall within the 18 product categories listed in Article 7 and above, the GACC launched a system to facilitate self-registration as indicated in Article 9 of Decree 248. The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has published information on the self-registration process.

    According to the GACC, it will continue to recognize existing registrations for establishments that export meat and meat products, aquatic products, dairy and infant formula products and bird nests and bird nest products. The FDA currently facilitates the registration of U.S. firms for seafood, dairy, and infant formula products by providing the GACC with documents that identify certified establishments and products that meet applicable U.S. requirements. U.S. firms that have applied in the FDA’s Export Listing Module (ELM) and are currently listed as certified by the GACC to export seafood, dairy, and infant formula products to China do not need to take any action at this time related to registration.

    For all other categories of food, the U.S. government interprets the Decree to provide that these products are covered by the existing bilateral agreements with China, such as the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, and other bilateral facility registration arrangements. USTR has asked the GACC to confirm its understanding that U.S. establishments that export all other categories of products may self-register. To date the GACC has not confirmed this interpretation of Decree 248 and has failed to provide adequate further guidance for the United States.  While the United States continues to engage with China at multiple levels to ensure minimal new requirements for the United States, the FDA is taking proactive steps to maintain current market access for FDA-regulated firms in the United States that export food to China. 


    As the U.S competent authority for many of the product categories named in Article 7 of Decree 248, the FDA is collecting information in the Export Listing Module (ELM) from U.S. firms that may be needed to facilitate the registration process before the new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2022.

    Beginning on December 6, 2021, U.S. establishments that currently produce or store FDA-regulated products for export to China that fall into the product categories 5-18 listed above may submit an application via the FDA’s Export Listing Module (ELM), providing information for products they currently export to China to allow the FDA to facilitate registration of these establishments with China. Step-by-step instructions for using the ELM are available on the FDA’s website.

    To ensure that the FDA has the relevant establishment information before the end of the year, any U.S. establishment currently exporting food products in categories 5-18 to China should submit applications to the ELM by December 17, 2021. In addition to meeting U.S. requirements, firms exporting to China are responsible for meeting relevant China regulations and requirements.

    Please note that the FDA does not intend to provide a declaration of conformity or other competent authority statement directly to U.S. establishments. In the event it is needed for registration for China, the FDA may provide an attestation directly to GACC for U.S. establishments and their products that comply with applicable U.S. requirements in order to facilitate registration. 

    For more details on China’s requirements, additional information on the U.S. competent authority for certain products that are under the FDA’s authority or the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s authority, or both and for step-by-step instructions on how to apply to the ELM, visit Food Export Library and Online Applications for Export Lists.

    For more information, contact the Export Certification Team at

    Related Pages:

  • 16 Nov 2021 6:26 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Aloha all! As part of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the purchase of locally produced food by State institutions, HDOA invites local agricultural producers to share product availability information with HDOA and our and our state-operated institutional partners (i.e. schools, hospitals, prisons). CLICK HERE or use the link below to update information on your current and upcoming stocks of local agricultural products. There is an option to select no change from last response for those who regularly reply to HDOA’s inquiries. If you check this box, your most recent response will be submitted to state agencies, and you may forgo completing the rest of the form (but please do remember to include your contact information and use the button at the bottom to submit your form). As always, feel free to share the link with any local agricultural producers or agricultural organizations who you think might be interested in sharing information. Thank you for your responses!  

    HDOA Agricultural Producer Inquiry Form:

    Responses to the inquiry are optional. Use the linked form to provide information to State institutions on available products, upcoming harvests, and any existing surpluses that need to be brought to market quickly. Responses will be sent to food procurement personnel in the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD), and within the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) to inform those institutions’ menu and purchase planning decisions.     

    Hawaii Department of Agriculture will only voluntarily share this information with personnel at our institutional partners. However, HDOA has no control over this information once it has been transmitted to our institutional partners (who often purchase through distributors and may share this information with distributors). PLEASE DO NOT SHARE INFORMATION THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE GENERALLY AVAILABLE.

    D. Heath Williams

    Special Assistant to the Chairperson

    Hawaii Department of Agriculture

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