Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Royal Golden Eagle Group director Anderson Tanoto participate in the 'cheap market' selling staple foods at a discounted price. (Antara Photo/FB Anggoro)

Trade Ministry Joins Hands With RGE to Offer Cheap Food Ahead of Idul Fitri


JUNE 19, 2017

Jakarta. The Ministry of Trade has joined hands with Royal Golden Eagle, one of the leading integrated resource-based industrial groups in the Asia-Pacific, to provide basic foods at a discounted price in the government's effort to lower the prices of essential products ahead of the Idul Fitri holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The so-called "cheap market" was held on Sunday (18/06) in Pelalawan district of Riau, during which RGE-affiliated companies that operate in the region — pulp and paper producer Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, palm oil producer Asian Agri, and palm oil exporter Apical Group — sold to the local community cheap staple foods, including cooking oil, rice, sugar and eggs.

"We are knocking on the doors of companies to make them share and care, so that a part of their profits could benefit the local communities and those in need," Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

The move is part of the ministry's bigger effort to lower food prices ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays, during which Muslims invite relatives and neighbors to their tables. The higher demand usually pumps up food prices.

The ministry is also working with other companies across the country, in line with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's instruction to keep the prices stable.

Riau Governor Arsyadjuliandi Rachman said he hoped these joint efforts will be undertaken also in the future so that "the basic foods can be accessed by all at a discounted price," especially ahead of the special day for Muslims after the month-long fast.

RAPP director Rudi Fajar said he expects such activities to also bridge the company with the local communities.

Asian Agri  managing director Kelvin Tio said he hopes the cheap market will help ease the burden of the less fortunate in accessing basic food products.