“ If the government can improve the logistics infrastructure within our industry, Indonesia can become a major supplier of fish and seafood based products. ”
Sari Tuna Makmur was established in 1998 in Jakarta before moving our operations to Manado in North Sulawesi where we built our factory in 2006. This was a strategic move for us since the ocean in Manado contained the species of tuna that is mainly consumed in the United States and Europe. We also operate from Bitung from which we fish for yellowfin tuna which is the main fish used for sashimi food products whereas we mainly supply the bigeye tuna species from the seas near Jakarta.
In 2010, we partnered with a British company to improve upon our food processing technology as we found the export of our tuna from Bitung and Manado to be difficult as well as costly. Thus through this partnership we gained the necessary know-how in freezing technology in order to sub-freeze our fish products at -60˚C. We are a pioneer of this technique in Indonesia and this enabled us to better streamline our export capabilities to our international partners. We have strong cooperation with partners in Europe where the latest trend to consume the highest quality fish products have resulted in our business growth. Furthermore, we adhere to sustainable fishing policies with our operations in East Java such as by using hand-lines methods and upholding stringent standards for fish specification. We believe this can improve the marine ecology of our industry as well as improve the population of fish species.
Going forward, we plan to expand our business through building more factories in Gorontalo and Manado. In 2017, we also plan to develop more value-added products in the form of ready-to-eat fish products as we see changing consumer preferences for these types of products.
The latest government regulations against illegal fishing have certainly helped Indonesia’s fishing industry. However, this requires time and I believe that if responsible practises are carried out, our marine ecology can reach the levels that they were in the past. One area the government can place greater focus is improving infrastructure in addition to reducing logistic costs which remain quite high in Indonesia. Our costs transporting our products from Bitung to Jakarta are more expensive than exporting to Singapore.
If the government can improve the logistics infrastructure within our industry, Indonesia can become a major supplier of fish and seafood-based products. The country has an abundance of maritime resources which we should properly utilise to further advance this sector.
I have a positive outlook for our sector as evident from the short-term improvements from the government’s recently implemented regulations. Our company has seen a much higher supply of tuna than the previous two years and this has been due to the positive support from the government to improve Indonesia’s fisheries industry.
Moreover, our company has also implemented a variety of programmes to help our fishermen and local communities. We assist fishermen with food and electricity as their livelihood is of great importance to us particularly because they are the backbone of the industry.
I see this as a positive step for our sector should Indonesia join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This will allow for a more standardised tax system in which we pay the same amount to export to countries such as the United States. Currently, Indonesian tax is higher than that of Vietnam hence reducing our competitiveness level.
We believe that that the ASEAN Economic Community will encourage greater technology transfer especially with Indonesia’s wealth in its maritime resources. Despite ASEAN nations not being our primary target market, we see the AEC as a means to exchange important know-how which can better improve our trading capacity with Europe and the United States.
We are very open to work with international partners especially for technology transfer and capital investment purposes. We want to increase our market share in Indonesia and abroad but this cannot be achieved without greater know-how to streamline our operations and the capital needed to expand. As such, we are seeking partners that can increase the quality as well as provide added value to our products.
We are a company that produces the highest quality tuna products and that international investors seeking to tap into this lucrative sector will need a reliable partner like Sari Tuna Makmur to succeed.