The European Union (EU) introduces the distinctive taste of its food and beverage products to Indonesian as one of the most important countries to put on its promotions map. As a country that was previously known as an agricultural country, what can Indonesia learn from the European food industry?
After launched in South Korea last July and in Thailand, on 25 August, the campaign Colors by Europe. Tastes of Excellence launched virtually in Indonesia. The 12-month campaign aims to promote agricultural, food and beverage product categories, including meats (beef and poultry), dairy products, olive oil, chocolate and confectionary, wines (within the limits prescribed by national regulations) and other agricultural products through a palatable and cultural journey with distinctively colourful and appetising food stories and campaign visuals.
As the relationship between EU and Indonesia has deepened in recent years,
Indonesia was chosen as one of the countries to promote EU food products because of the high interest in food and culinary products of the Indonesians especially the younger generation, who are also relatively easy to reach through social media.
With its large population and growing middle class, Indonesia’s demand for food and beverage products continues to rise and this includes a large percentage of imported specialty food and beverage products in order to meet local demand. Moreover, Indonesia’s local business sector is responding positively. The campaign will seek to highlight the growing culinary trends of EU products among Indonesia’s consumers.
I parallel the EU and Indonesia are committed to further enhance their trade and investment relations and make positive progress despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), when it is concluded, will deliver a significant boost to bilateral trade and investment flows.
The EU, which is a political and economic union of 27 member countries, with an estimated population of 446 million, is one of the world's largest trading blocs, including the agricultural and food sectors which employs more than 4 million workers and more than 300,000 businesses. From this advanced sector, the EU needs to promote its food safety, quality, authenticity, sustainability and to introduce the EU’s ‘Farm to Fork’ food safety model in Indonesia through public relations, social media activations, trade and consumer promotions and activities.
“For Europeans, trading agri-food products is more than a business. It is also about values, principles and culinary heritage. It guarantees that our principles in areas such as food safety, quality, sustainability, climate change and consumer protection are respected. The Republic of Indonesia shares similar values with preference for high quality standards and even more, preference for traditional food is perceived as part of the national cultural heritage here.” stated Marika Jakas, Head of Trade and Economic Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia.
One thing that must emphasised for Indonesia in developing its food product imports from Europe is its safety. Processed agricultural products from the EU can be enjoyed without worry because of the comprehensive safety and quality standards in every process from planting to production, one of which is because EU farmers follow the strictest food production health and safety standards in the world.
This was confirmed by Alexander Nayoan, Head of Human Resources Training of the Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association (PHRI) who shared the strong opportunities of EU food products in the Indonesian market.
“EU food ingredients are highly regarded and well known for their superior quality and safety, and more recently, authenticity and sustainability. Leading restaurants and hotels are most willing to use the wide range of EU ingredients with the strong demand for EU food products, for diverse food with geographical indications and organic food. Demand for these will continue to grow in Indonesia especially with a rising global awareness on the need to work towards a more sustainable environment. F&B professionals are doing our part to better understand and to support food systems that can be regulated to ensure environmental, social, and economic sustainability,” said Alexander Nayoan.
He also positively responded that business cooperation between the EU and Indonesia is a good step considering that the Indonesian people during this pandemic are starting to explore European culinary business developments and need more affordable raw materials.
“Ingredients from Europe, especially those packaged in bottles are increasingly selling well in Indonesia. We can see that in supermarkets there are already many foodstuffs from Europe. Whereas before the pandemic we didn't know much about salsa or raw sauce." he added.
Indonesia’s celebrated chef Degan Septoadji, who also joined the launching event also shared his thoughts, “For many of us, the past year has required a lot of adjustments with patience and an overall simplification of our day-to-day lives. Most people need to forego travel as we opt to stay home for simple and relaxed experiences, spending more time discovering and taking care of ourselves and our family. I know of many who have picked up cooking as a new hobby, as we get into the mood to prepare meals that have a little more creativity, nutritious and flavour, or meals which travel! Thus, it is fun to be engaged with this campaign to discover more about EU food of high quality, safe, authentic, and sustainable, and explore how we can enjoy and be creative with the best ingredients from Europe, whether on their own, as a complement to your favourite dish or as part of European or local recipe or cuisine!”
EU looks forward to the support of food influencers, the food community: European food importers, distributors, and retailers, HoReCa owners and operators to achieve success for this campaign.