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Products from paradise: The social construction of Hawaii crops


  • Krisnawati Suryanata


Global competition has made thetraditional sugarcane and pineapple industriesincreasingly non-viable in Hawaii. One initiative torevive the agricultural sector calls for diversifyinginto non-traditional export crops that gains highervalue by attaching the paradise identity such as freshpineapples, macadamia nuts, or tropical flowers.Drawing from cases of pineapples and macadamia nuts,this paper examines how Hawaii's foodstuffs were ableto capture a premium value of place-association due tothe social construction of Hawaii as a place. Anexpansion of the niche markets, however, has allowedthe symbolic meaning of these products to beappropriated and reconstituted by global interests.Without confronting the fundamental problemsassociated with land and labor relations in Hawaii,Hawaii producers are caught in a niche-markettreadmill. They continuously seek new potentials forhigh-value crops, but are unable to maintain controlbeyond their inventive stage. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Krisnawati Suryanata, 2000. "Products from paradise: The social construction of Hawaii crops," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(2), pages 181-189, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:17:y:2000:i:2:p:181-189
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007617403517

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    Cited by:

    1. Vagneron, Isabelle & Faure, Guy & Loeillet, Denis, 2009. "Is there a pilot in the chain? Identifying the key drivers of change in the fresh pineapple sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 437-446, October.
    2. Karl Kim & Kimberly Burnett & Jiwnath Ghimire, "undated". "Assessing the potential for food and energy self-sufficiency on the island of Kauai, Hawaii," Working Papers 2015-11, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    3. Kim, Karl & Burnett, Kimberly & Ghimire, Jiwnath, 2015. "Assessing the potential for food and energy self-sufficiency on the island of Kauai, Hawaii," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 44-51.


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