Iowa Public Television


Maui Land Fieldworkers Harvest Last Pineapples

posted on December 24, 2009

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Fieldworkers at Hawaii's last major pineapple plantation have picked their last pineapples.

Maui Land and Pineapple Co. shut down its century-old agricultural operation Wednesday to focus on real estate development.

The company says its pineapple business has lost $115 million since 2002 and is no longer financially sustainable.

The company is laying off about 285 employees. Some 133 workers are being offered positions in the company's other businesses.

Hawaii's major pineapple producers have shifted growing operations to foreign countries such as the Philippines, where labor is cheaper.

Former and current Maui Land employees hope to form a new company that would continue growing, packing and selling Maui Gold fresh pineapple.

Tags: agriculture crops harvest Hawaii jobs news