“ Other ASEAN countries do not have fish population and ocean size as large as Indonesia thus the AEC is considered fair competition particularly for fisheries industry players. ”
I first established the company PT Prima Bahari Inti Lestari that is based in Makassar, however, I looked for other alternatives in regards to the supply chain management of that company. As such, I created Inti Lautan Fajar Abadi for food processing services in 2008 and in 2012, we developed our own factory. In terms of our fish products, we mainly supply bottomfish species. Our company strictly focuses on fish exports in which we primarily export our fish products to the United States, Europe, Australia, and Malaysia.
Our motto is to introduce Indonesian products on a global scale and so therefore we have stringent quality control standards at the company. We have obtained certification from the British Retail Consortium which is one of the top-ranked certifications for a fisheries company due to the high-demand from third parties and furthermore, we are also SEDEX-audited. These certifications enable us to protect our workers’ rights as well as to uphold high-quality product standards. Going forward, we are looking to expand our product portfolio for Pelagic fish products through ready-to-cook as well as breaded Pelagic fish products.
We are grateful for Fisheries Minister Ms Susi Pudjiastuti’s issued regulation on illegal fishing which allows Indonesia to prevent overfishing. One of the measures we’ve implemented is our Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) which serves as a database of all the fish we catch including its location, when it was caught, by which boat and other useful information. We created this system along with four fishing vessel companies and seven buyers as part of a sustainability project. We decided to implement this measure given the need to do so from the US market which prioritises FIP-abiding companies. Through this project, we are able to preserve the ocean while also working towards the prevention of overfishing.
The main area that the government should carry out in order to support the fisheries industry is in regards to overfishing and nature conservation measures. They have to ensure that the environment and fish are not being exploited or are endangered. The Australian government has carried out this initiative where they pay close attention to the fish population by emphasising criteria such as the size of the fish, amount, and spawning. I am confident that should Indonesia follow this initiative, the country would be able to safeguard its fish population.
Even though there have been drastic changes that have occurred in our sector, there remains a need to improve upon the supply chain system in smaller regions. I suggest that the government develop fish processing plants in isolated or hard-to-reach areas in order to better boost the livelihoods of fishermen. I previously offered this suggestion to the Directorate General in the Fisheries Ministry while also elaborating on the difficulties of the fisheries industry in isolated areas. However, the lack of infrastructure such as seaports as well as electrical power in these hard-to-reach areas makes it difficult to realise for the time being.
I’m very optimistic about the outlook for the fisheries industry. What we have experienced thus far is that we are able to reel our catch 20% - 25% faster since the government regulations took effect. Based on my knowledge, fishermen spend less time out on the ocean to fill up their boats with fish now than in previous years. Moreover, we also acknowledge that the fishes are also larger in size and weight hence further highlighting the additional improvements resulting from the government’s measures against overfishing.
We do not view the AEC as a challenge because we have long been involved in free market competition. Aside from that aspect, other ASEAN countries do not have a fish population and an ocean size as large as Indonesia thus the AEC is considered fair competition particularly for fisheries industry players.
We are open to partnering with investors to improve upon our supply chain management as a means for us to develop eastern Indonesia. Our goal is to further advance our already developed upstream and downstream sectors. An area that we have an interest on is finding European fish importers as we are looking to expand our distribution channels. Our aim is to increase our market share to 30% from the current 5%.
We encourage local and international consumers to consume more fish because it’s an organic, healthy product. We would also like to be remembered as a trustworthy company that supports sustainability initiatives as evident from Inti Lautan Fajar Abadi’s longstanding track record with our clients.