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The Commodities Branch is designed to assist in the development of agricultural industries through quality assurance of agricultural commodities; licensing of dealers in agricultural products; and milk producer price and quota control to maintain stability within the dairy industry.

The Branch provides fee-for-service State and Federal certification of the condition or quality of various agricultural commodities, food safety audits [Primuslabs Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and USDA Plant System Audits (PSA)] and USDA meat grading services.

The Branch also enforces laws and rules pertaining to agricultural commodities relating to: grade standards, advertising, minimum export requirements, licensing of dealers in agricultural products, sampling and testing animal feed for guarantees and adulteration, and oversees the Milk Control program. The branch conducts U.S. Department of Agriculture Egg Product Inspection Act surveillance visits at egg processing plants.

The Commodities Branch certifies and enforces as well as establishes and maintains grade standards and rules for the following agricultural commodities:

Coffee Beans (Green)

Dealer Licensing

  • Licensing: A Dealer's License is required when selling or handling Hawaii grown agricultural products obtained or purchased directly from a farmer or producer. Rules and an application form and instructions are available online.
  • Agricultural Theft: Persons selling or transporting agricultural commodities are required to have proof of ownership, as a deterrent to agricultural theft (Chapter 145 Part II, Hawaii Revised Statutes).


  • Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for shell eggs are available online. Federal Standards are available online through the USDA website.
  • Labeling: At retail, egg cartons and containers must be properly grade labeled. HDOA's Commodities Branch Marketing Specialists check eggs using a high intensity candling light to assure that they are wholesome and meet labeled consumer grade. Eggs are also weighed to check that they meet labeled size. Sale of Shell Eggs at Retail gives a summary of requirements for retail egg sales.
  • Egg Origin Marking: Eggs imported from out of state are required to be individually marked ("U.S." for mainland eggs). Imported eggs are checked by HDOA's Commodities Branch Marketing Specialists before distribution. See Hawaii egg standards above for detailed requirements.
  • Feed Commercial animal feed must be properly labeled, free from adulteration, and registered with HDOA's Commodities Branch. Also, tonnage reports and inspection fees must be forwarded to the department every quarter. Feed rules, registration forms and instructions; and tonnage reporting forms and instructions are available online. Branch Marketing Specialists sample commercial feed for analysis, to determine if they meet labeled guarantees and are free from pesticides adulteration. The Report of Analysis of Official Commercial Feed Samples is available online.

Flowers and Foliage

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • Grade Standards: Hawaii standards for Hawaii-Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, and in-shell macadamia nuts are available online. Federal Standards are available online through the USDA website.
  • Labeling: Fresh fruits and vegetables in wholesale quantities or at retail may be grade labeled if desired. If grade labeled, HDOA's Commodities Branch Marketing Specialists check these products to determine if they meet grade requirements.

Processed Products

National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program:

(NOTE:  This program is now being administered by the Market Development Branch of the Agricultural Development Division)

You may qualify for USDA Organic Certification cost share assistance of up to $500.00. Click here for more information.

The current Commodities Branch activity report narrative is available for viewing.

For more information, contact:

Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Quality Assurance Division
1851 Auiki Street
Honolulu, HI 96819-3100
Phone: (808) 832-0700
Fax: (808) 832-0683