The Solutions

1. Support Local Ranchers

Many ranchers are beginning to keep some of their calves for local finishing and consumption. Purchasing local grass-fed beef can help support Hawai‘i’s ranchers! Here are some great sources for local beef in Hawai‘i:

  • Kualoa Ranch
    • Kualoa Beef is 100% grass-fed and raised right at Kualoa Ranch with no hormones, steroids or antibiotics. The beef is all processed on Oahu. You can order online and pick up your orders at their visitors center.
  • Kuahiwi Ranch
    • Locally grown in the Ka‘u district of the Big Island, Kuahiwi Ranch produces beef raised on free range grassland with no antibiotics or artificial hormones. You can find and support Kuahiwi Ranch natural beef at supermarkets, restaurants, distributors and farmers markets.
  • Molokai Ranch
    • Moloka‘i Ranch produces 100% grass-fed Angus that are locally born, pasture-raised and finished on Moloka‘i
      with no added hormones or antibiotics. You can find their beef on the menu at many restaurants.
  • Kunoa Cattle Company
    • Kunoa Cattle Company is a vertically integrated livestock company based in Hawai’i. It is building a diversified network of ranches and meat processing infrastructure across the islands to address the bottleneck in processing capacity in order to provide consumers with more lean, clean healthy Hawai’i beef.

2. Read Labels

Supporting businesses that support your values is an easy way to contribute and make a difference. Here are some labels and what they stand for:

  • USDA Grassfed label is for beef that comes from cows produced entirely on grazing lands however animals maybe confined to a pen and fed hay for months out of the year. They can also be given hormones and antibiotics.
  • American Grassfed Association is for grass-fed animals as those that have eaten nothing but grass and forage from weaning to harvest, have not been raised in confinement, and have never been fed antibiotics or growth hormones.
  • Animal Welfare Approved &  Whole Foods' GAP program are both labels for beef from producers who treat their animals humanely.
  • USDA organic-certified beef is label for beef produced that avoids toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and non-therapeutic antibiotics

3. Know Your Rancher

You will find that most producers in Hawai‘i do not use labels because it can be extra work and costly. Instead of relying completely on the product labels try to get to know your rancher at farmers’ markets and have a conversation. You might get a chance to learn more about what's going on in Hawai‘i’s ranching industry.


To find out more, check out these resources:

Find out what the Savory Institute  is doing in the context of the ecological restoration of grasslands worldwide. They work with managers implementing Holistic Planned Grazing to properly manage livestock — mimicking the predator/prey relationships in which these environments evolved. Also check out Allan Savory’s Ted Talk!

The Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Council, Inc. (HCC) is the Statewide organization comprised of the five county level Cattlemen’s Associations.

The Nature Defense Council’s Better Beef Production page has great information about creating a better beef supply chain.