Pineapple was once called the king of crops in Hawai’i. By
that they meant pineapple fields covered the face of the land
with only the bent over shapes of immigrants working the
fields to interrupt the orderly rows. Those fields provided
work for many a laborer from China, Japan, and the
But as the times changed, and the land itself became more
valuable than the pineapples grown on it and foreign
competition drove pineapple prices down, it became more and
more difficult to justify planting pineapples.
So, although it was a sad day, it should not have come as
a surprise that Del Monte announced yesterday that after 100
years here, it was
down pineapple growing operations in Hawai’i
Over 700 workers will have to find other employment as Del
Monte phases out its operations. However, there is interest
in the land from another company that may use it for other
agricultural purposes (no, not Kona Gold). Agriculture in the
islands has had to diversify to survive. Right now, coffee,
cocoa, grapes for wine, macadamia nuts, and a host of other
crops are being grown in our rich soils.
That said, it is doubtful that any one crop will once
again reign as king, but perhaps it is for the better.