Monday, October 11, 2010


KITV reports on trafficked Thai farm worker meeting

by Larry Geller

Check out: Exclusive: Thai Farm Workers Meet To Discuss Fed Cases (KITV, 10/10/2010)

Good coverage by Keoki Kerr on this important case, one which will keep Hawaii in the news nationally and internationally. As the article notes, at least some outside coverage has been critical of the supportive local response to the defendants in this case.

One background note to the KITV story—the restitution money which may be returned to the defendants to pay their legal bills is still around because it had not been paid out in a timely way by the court to the Thai workers. Since the money is still in the hands of the court, the defendants have asked that it be returned to them to pay their legal bills.

And though it isn’t relevant to this story, I did notice on Saturday that the Hawaii Farm Bureau is still allowing the Aloun Farms tent to operate “incognito” at the KCC Farmers Market.  HFB has not responded to my letter asking why this particular vendor is being allowed to do that.

Shoppers should know where their food comes from, right?

Suppose there was a salmonella problem or something. “Where did you buy that lettuce?” “I don’t know… they didn’t have a sign up with their name.”

HFB is a private entity and they can do what they like. If this bugs you (as it does me), they can be reached as follows:

2343 Rose Street
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96819
Phone: (808) 848-2074
Neighbor Islands: (800) 482-1272
Fax: (808) 848- 1921
Email at:



Interesting, and certainly disappointing, that there seems to be more sympathy for the prepetrators than for the victims.

As for the sign, or lack thereof, at the Aloun tent at the KCC farmer's market, an interesting analogy may be found in Section 146-23, HRS, "Duty of vendor of butchered beef to disclose identity of person from whom obtained." Under the terms of this law, first enacted in 1923, anyone who sells beef must know and truthfully state the name and residence of the person from whom the vendor obtained the beef to anyone who asks. Failure to do so could net the clerk behind the meat counter at the local supermarket a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. (See Section 146-24, HRS.) Curiously, vendors of pork, lamb, poultry and other meat products have not been required to know the pedigree of their offerings. Maybe these critters were/are not subject to rustlingf the way cattle were/are.

The HFBF contract requires vendors to post a sign. Should state law also do the same?

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