Food and Beverage to Indonesia
Trends and opportunities
With a total population estimated at 255.5 million in 2015, Indonesia was the leading destination for Australian wheat, beef and sugar (source: DFAT, Indonesia country page, November 2016).
Indonesia’s significant youth population is projected to drive demand for mass market products such as confectionary goods.
Indonesian consumers have a preference for international brands and imported products. Increasing incomes, aspiring modern lifestyles and urbanisation have increased consumer consumption of meat, dairy products, bread based products and processed food. This demand has accelerated the expansion of local retail franchises and foreign supermarkets as well as the upgrade of traditional and wet markets.
Indonesia offers opportunities in processed food, wheat based products, beverages including premium alcoholic drinks, food ingredients, food technology and related training e.g. food safety and handling etc.
There are opportunities for products targeted to address specific health problems or to increase general vitamin or mineral intake. Organic products, calcium milk to prevent osteoporosis, dairy milk for nursing mothers, baby food and food suitable for special dietary conditions are some examples.
Australia has a reputation for delivering high quality food and beverages which span a diverse range of capabilities, from the supply of raw ingredients to food processing, to retail sales and consumers. Australian standards and reputation underwrite consumer confidence, however in general terms, market awareness is restricted to key commodities such as beef and iconic brands such as Bega, Beerenberg, San Remo or Tim Tams.
Tariffs, regulations and customs
All food and drink products must be registered at the Indonesia National Agency of Food and Drug Control (BPOM), which can be done by the local distributor or agent. It can be a lengthy process with standard product registration often between eight and 12 months in duration. All imported products must show ingredients used (including percentage composition), storage requirements and any applicable health warning in both English and Indonesian.
‘Halal’ certification is not a mandatory requirement for all food products, however, given almost 90 per cent of the population is Muslim, obtaining ‘Halal’ certification is strongly recommended.
It is essential to have an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of the procedures and requirements for attaining certificates for food and beverage products entering the market.
The Indonesian ministry of religious affairs (MORA) has recently confirmed that proposed Halal regulations will not come into force now until November 2019 as opposed to November 2016.
Non Halal products will require a label but no certification and the scope of services affected will be limited to associated Halal food production processes.
MORA indicated it would progressively release lists of affected products beginning with food and beverage, then cosmetics, clothing with medicines and biological products last.
The new Halal product assurance agency (BPJPH) which will administer this new regulation is likely to be operational from the beginning of 2017.
The Indonesian Ulama Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia or MUI) is the appointed body with the right to provide halal labelling in Indonesia. The MUI also determines the system and procedure for halal products decree which contains process, procedures, mechanism and halal determination. A product is considered halal (lit. ‘permitted’) if production clarity and specification have been obtained.
Marketing your products and services
There are many elements of the food distribution supply chain including importers, distributors, retailers, food service operators etc. The appointment of a local partner or importer is essential, a reputable importer will be able to supplement knowledge of the feasibility of market entry in the first instance, but also help create a development plan for the product over time. Such partners can register products via BPOM, advise on marketing, organise logistics and liaise with the most appropriate retail outlets.
Such partners or companies have established networks with defined geographies and reach. Distributors and agents usually sell direct to modern retail, the food service industry and with ingredients, direct to manufacturers. Goods are shipped to warehousing facilities or delivered direct to the store.
Finding a local partner is a mandatory requirement and key to market entry. It is crucial that companies:
- Appoint the right business partner who has an Import Identifier Number.
- Visit the market on a regular basis, face-to-face contact and the development of a relationship is critical to business success.
- Prepare comprehensive information packs profiling your company, product specifications, pricing and terms of payment.
- Participate in major trade exhibitions to showcase products/services to relevant audience/buyers.
- Support importer, distributors and retailers with marketing and promotional collateral and spend, and stock for sampling.
Under the Indonesian system, the local importer or distributor is also responsible for the imported product’s safety, veracity and performance.
An archipelago with thousands of islands, freight and transportation can be both complex and expensive. Indonesia has some well developed container ports which can handle cargo efficiently e.g. Jakarta port (Tanjung Priok Port), Surabaya (Tanjung Perak Port), Makassar and Medan.
Managed by the various Indonesia Port Corporations, there are four numbered I through IV, each has jurisdiction over various regions of the country, with I in the west and IV in the east.
Shipping to Indonesia is usually via Singapore. Some cargoes are also transhipped via regional ports.
Links and industry contacts
Food and beverage-related
The Indonesian Council of Ulama
Indonesian food and beverage association
The National Agency of Drug and Food Control
Government, business and trade resources for Indonesia
Central Bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia)
Directorate General of Customs Of Republic of Indonesia
Indonesia Australia Business Council
Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)
Indonesian Government Official Portal
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Trade
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