Indonesia, New Zealand to Strengthen Food-Industry Cooperation

OCTOBER 08, 2018

Jakarta. New Zealand seeks to explore more business opportunities in Indonesia's food industry, not only through innovative food solutions, but also safe and healthy products that align with changing consumer preferences in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

"Today's shoppers are demanding more in terms of quality, safety and above all, taste. New Zealand's food producers are dedicated to expanding the choices on offer to Indonesian consumers," Diana Permana, New Zealand's trade commissioner to Indonesia, said on Friday (05/10).

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the country's economic development and trade promotion agency, says Indonesian consumers have become more selective and thus demand better quality, healthier and safer foods.

Many New Zealand companies are exporting to Indonesia not only products that incorporate their pioneering technologies, but also their expertise, which can improve the food industry in the archipelago.

Airborne Honey, for example, patented a unique technology that minimizes heat damage to honey during production, which allows consumers to get the most natural product possible.

Fonterra, one of the world's largest milk exporters with brands such as Anlene, Anmum and Boneeto, has a team of food professionals that has been working with local partners in Indonesia, including Holland Bakery, to come up with new recipes.

"[They] work together to create innovative recipes and applications of the products so consumers can have a world-class experience right here in Indonesia," said Rohini Behl, technical marketing advisor at Fonterra Brands Indonesia.

NZTE, through its Taste New Zealand event this week, seeks to raise awareness of New Zealand products in Indonesia, where Diana said interest is strong.

"[Indonesian consumers] are aware that New Zealand products are good and fresh, but they don't always know that some of the products they have been consuming are from New Zealand," she said.

As Indonesia and New Zealand celebrate 60 years of bilateral relations this year, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said the two countries are committed to doubling the value of trade between them by focusing their exports on each other's priority industries.

Airlangga said in an official statement that Indonesia is seeking to export more automotive products and components, while New Zealand will likely continue to develop more dairy products in Indonesia.

Trade between the two countries amounted to $1.18 billion last year, with New Zealand's top exports being foods and beverages, including dairy products.

"We are seeking to strengthen partnership in the food and beverage industry, as both countries have abundant natural resources," Airlangga said in the statement.

He added that cooperation may include technology transfers from New Zealand to Indonesia, which could help boost the competitiveness of the latter's food and beverage products.

NZTE says many companies have begun to prioritize halal certification for exports to Indonesia – New Zealand's 11th-largest market – where Muslims comprise 87 percent of the country's population of around 260 million.

Diana said this has been done not only for lamb and beef, but also supplements and cosmetic products, through the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (Fianz).