In a country of 260 million people, 35 ethnicities, several religions and over 300 languages, the Indonesian crest ‘Unity in Diversity’ is very apt.
Tipped to become a top 10 economy in the next few years, Indonesia was an amazing place to discover agriculture, food production and marketing in the ASEAN region.
I was extremely happy that the our ‘orientation’ consisted of a quick trip to the city museum and the then an extensive tour of a range of supermarkets covering top tier to bottom tier.
Day two and three were spent visiting businesses, the first, Jyuan Jaya focusing on importing cattle from Australia and fattening them up in a feedlot for slaughter over a 120 day period. A certification scheme was brought in by the Australian government after an Indonesian slaughter house was exposed for bad practice. The scheme included a traceability system which only addresses the identication of the slaughter house and in my opinion missed a great opportunity to establish a system to trace the animal from birth through the supply chain which would be useful to all parties.
You can see my interview on this subject with Mick Sheehy, 1993 Nuffield Farming scholar who hosted us in Indonesia.
The agri-business owned by the Husudo Angkosubroto listed in the Forbes 50 rich list, incorporated fruit production, crop production, cattle feed lot, cattle breeding, research and development and production of Bromelain enzyme for use in medical products such as treatment for HIV. These unique businesses are all efficiently linked together as the waste material from cassava, pineapples is used for both composition which goes back onto the land used for growing pineapples or into cattle feed. The Bromelain enzyme is extracted from the pineapples and the site has it’s own energy plant to run the pineapple canning factory and sugar cane factory. Electricity supply is a challenge as the National grid manages the power by load shedding so in Lampung where GGP is based, power goes off every Wednesday. Inside the pineapple plant, pineapple slices are canned once the skin has been stripped off and any broken slices go into the tit-bits or crushed pineapple orders.
The company focuses it’s pineapple production on the B2B canned market, supplying own label to supermarkets worldwide and to restaurant chains. Every 5th can of pineapple in the world is made by them.
Until this week, Indonesia was a country I knew only through a trip to Bali three years ago. This trip to Jakarta and Lampung has been enlightening and has vastly increased my knowledge of a country that is a major player not only in the ASEAN region but worldwide.