Cattle company and livestock processor Kunoa entered its largest partnership to date with a Hawaii grocer; the Hawaii-based company will be offering 100 percent Hawaii-grown ground beef at all 15 Times Supermarkets locations throughout Oahu and at the company’s two Maui stores.
“As a longtime Hawaii grocer, Times Supermarkets is committed to supporting local products like Kunoa’s ground beef and meat bars, which offer great quality at a reasonable price,” said Chester Gumban, Director of Meat Operations of Times Supermarkets.
Kunoa manages a herd of 2,000 cattle on Kauai and works with other producers throughout the state to source no-added hormone, antibiotic-free beef. A diet rich in Hawaii vegetative forages helps reduce the need for imported feed; it also helps shape the robust Kunoa beef flavor profile, according to a company spokesperson.
Kunoa recently debuted its beef products at neighborhood markets on Kauai and Oahu, and plans to add locations in the near future.
In November, Kunoa announced the acquisition of Oahu’s only USDA-inspected livestock harvest facility, with the goal of expanding processing capabilities for Hawaii livestock producers. Kunoa is completing a series of major upgrades to the nearly seven-acre Kapolei property, focused on enhancing animal welfare, preserving meat quality and improving food safety.
Upgrades include new animal receiving and holding areas and a $50,000 hydraulic animal chute with design features developed by Temple Grandin, an animal-welfare expert and Colorado State University professor.
The facility will also offer new processing capabilities for Kunoa livestock, as well as livestock from other producers throughout the state who are selling under their own brands. This includes a grinder, mixer, patty maker and state-of-the-art vacuum-packaging machine that will allow the facility to deliver products ranging from beef sides to retail-portion cut steaks. Kunoa has invested more than $650,000 in these upgrades.
“Kunoa’s high-quality meats and new processing capabilities help tackle the pressing issue of food security across the islands,” Kunoa Co-founder Bobby Farias said. “Our facility improvements allow more ranchers to sell their meats in Hawaii, rather than sending them to the mainland, and that goes a long way for our state.”
Photo courtesy Times Supermarkets Facebook page