Hawai'i Pasture-Raised Beef
The Big Island produces the lion's share of Hawai'i's beef. The statewide cattle industry is basically divided into two operations: the cow-calf setup where the calf is produced to be exported out-of-state for finishing and second, the local slaughter operation, where cattle is raised entirely in Hawai'i for commercial slaughter. While some ranches do one or the other, numerous do both simultaneously.
Although USDA Hawaii Field Office stats are no longer available, typically, one-fourth of the state’s cattle marketings (sum of exports and local slaughter) are for local consumption.
Where's the Beef?
Big Isle ranches producing pasture-raised beef sell their product to restaurants and retailers. A handful of ranchers sell direct to consumers or at farmers markets. A handful of ranchers sell direct to consumers or at farmers market.
Pasture-raised beef is marketed under various brands at grocery stores: Mountain Apple, Hawaii Big Island Beef, Island Fresh, Hawai‘i Ranchers, etc. Don't hesitate to ask your butcher or grocer to identify it for you when shopping.
What's Red Veal?
Red veal is produced from calves up to six months old and weighing about 450-600 pounds. These animals are weaned off the mother cow and allowed to roam freely on pastureland to feed. No hormones or antibiotics are used while the animal grows to market size. The meat is pinkish-red in color with a mild beef flavor.
Hawaiian Red Veal, the state's inaugural veal brand, was initiated in 2009 and adheres to the above standards in producing red veal. The product is produced seasonally, as calving is naturally in the spring and fall. It's marketed under the Hawaii Ranchers brand.
The following ranches are producing cattle for pasture-raised beef consumption. Their fresh, island beef is feeding our island.
Ernest DeLuz Ranch-Hamakua
Ernest Pung Ranch-Hamakua
Kealia Ranch-South Kona
Kukuipahu Ranch, North Kohala
Lowline Cattle Company-Ahualoa
Palani Ranch-North Kona
Ponoholo Ranch-North Kohala
Triple D Ranch-Hamakua