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APEC Business Spotlight: Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company exports to the Asia-Pacific region

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company provides Hawaiian-grown coffee and bottled water. The Hawaiian Isles Water and Kona Coffee brands are some of only a few Hawaii-inspired coffee and water products made entirely by local workers in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Isles currently exports roughly 8,000 cases of coffee and 35,000 cases of water to international markets every year with over 80 percent of that making it to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada. Although this currently only represents a small percentage of their overall business, Hawaiian Isles has been looking for ways to expand their exports to allow them to grow their business and support Hawaiian jobs.

Currently, trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region raise the cost of many Hawaiian Isles’ export products.

At APEC, USTR is working with our Asia-Pacific trading partners to address trade barriers and help companies like Hawaiian Isles compete on a level playing field.

“The opportunity to compete in other markets would provide a healthy growth in our sales and help us toward our vision of being a world leader in Hawaiian-based products,” said Glenn Boulware, Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company.

With increased trade, Hawaiian Isles would be able to expand their business in the United States. The company relies heavily on U.S. workers for the manufacturing and distribution of their agricultural and natural products. An expansion in trade will therefore increase demand for both manufacturing equipment and employees, as well as production for their agricultural and natural products.

“This upgrade and expansion of our capabilities will mean the creation of additional jobs and even new jobs to meet the new demands of entering into new markets,” Boulware said.