How a WE Empower finalist is creating opportunity from her Hawaiian roots

Brynn Foster
A woman sits on the ground with her hands and legs crossed in front of her.

Brynn Foster is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge from Hawaii, USA and a transformative pioneer in the agriculture industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Brynn is breaking barriers in the male-dominated world of agriculture through innovation and community.

Brynn Foster is the founder of Voyaging Foodsv a Hawaii-based artisan miller and bakehouse that produces flour from Hawaiian canoe plants. For over a decade, they have been committed to producing nutritional, delicious and allergy-conscious foods that preserve and honor Hawaiian heritage. The mission Foster has established at Voyaging Foods is to revive these Hawaiian-grown crops and reclaim Hawaiian food sovereignty while building a thriving canoe-plant flour industry. Voyaging Foods ultimate goal is to help move the Hawaiian Islands towards food security.

Foster also serves on the Joyful Heart Foundation committee against domestic abuse. However, she believes that protecting women goes beyond sitting on a committee. Brynn has established a culture of respect and equality every day within Voyaging Foods and she expects nothing less from her employees.

Foster has incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals within Voyaging Foods. Specifically, they support goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities by improving food security for the Hawaiian islands. They do this by relieving the state’s reliance on imports by providing alternatives.

Voyaging Foods supports Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being through producing a line of flours that are fiber-rich, gluten-free and boast anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition, Voyaging Foods also supports Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure by supporting Hawaii’s move towards food independence. Foster and her company have also piloted the 30% by 30 initiative which involves restaurants and chefs committing to the use of 30% Hawaiian-grown canoe-plant flour. This initiative will help restaurants and chefs reduce their dependency on imported flour and therefore reduce food miles.

“I believe that to get more women into leadership roles, it is important that we show support for women who are already in those roles,” Foster said.