“ The strength and growing influence of labour unions in the country constantly creates concerns amongst businesses in Indonesia. ”
Global International Foods first began manufacturing local spices and seasonings where we were able to support a number of companies involved in Indonesia’s FMCG industry. These companies produce snacks, biscuits, instant noodles, and we have since diversified our market entry to hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Our company’s 130 staff members assist in our ever-expanding product portfolio which encompasses over 100 types of spices and seasonings for wide-ranging flavours such as soto, rendang, beef floss, and fried rice among many others. We are looking to further expand our product portfolio by tapping into hotels, restaurants, and cafes however due to the current economic conditions, we have yet to take full advantage of this venture. As such, we have had to put in extra effort in our business amidst the economic slowdown. Among these measures include the supply of seasonings, marinade, and seasoned flour to small and medium enterprises.
Our diverse product portfolio has enabled us to reach export markets ranging from Canada and the Philippines. We have carried out technology transfer activities with our partners in the Philippines while also supplying seasoning products as well as tapioca products.
Moving forward, we are looking to increase the production of chili sauce, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce for fried chicken, dipping sauce as well as other types of products. We are currently in talks with a London-based company to engage in Global International Foods’ product distribution services through assistance from the Indonesian Embassy in the UK and we are hoping that in future, we will receive better support from Indonesian embassies across the globe in promoting our products.
We are committed to maintain the highest quality standards of our products thus we have earned various certifications including HAACP, ISO 9001 for quality management, and the ISO 22000 for food safety management. In the near future, we are aiming to obtain a certification for our laboratory for areas such as microbiology tests.
There is growing competition in our industry despite there being only five major companies involved in spices and seasonings manufacturing. We have had an upper-hand in the industry because of Global International Foods’ dedication to our customers particularly for swift delivery time. We believe that customer satisfaction should be achieved for both our products as well as our services.
Furthermore, a number of companies in our industry are often bought by an international firm which are unable to guarantee quick product delivery and they have the inability to manufacture products with the exact taste of Indonesian spices and seasonings. Keeping this in mind, this serves as our company’s advantage thus we are confident in our company’s growth trajectory going forward. For the next five years we are aiming to maintain the stability of our product prices in spite of market price fluctuations in addition to our delivery time.
We appreciate the current administration’s efforts to improve the business climate, however there remains weak enforcement and implementation related to the economic policy packages thus as a company, we haven’t benefitted from the new regulations that are in place. To improve the business sector, the government should also work towards maintaining a steady exchange rate that does not exceed 10,000 IDR against the USD.
Moreover, a number of industry players including Global International Foods continue to face issues in regards to imports and exports. We have had to face a number of challenges when dealing with the Ministry of Health which we believe have not carried out their duties in assisting importers. The Health Ministry has hampered the issuance of product registration number (MD Number) for importers shipping their goods to Indonesian companies as well as health certificates which therefore affects our business operations.
Based on our experience, the Health Ministry focuses solely on large-scale companies and will only conduct health & safety checks for medium to large-scale companies. This provides an unfair advantage to small-scale companies as they are not imposed to the same health and safety tests as companies of our size. As such, smaller scale companies are able to utilise chemicals and materials that are deemed unsafe for human consumption as a result of this unequal treatment by the Health Ministry. It is in our perspective that the food manufacturing industry receives zero support from the Health Ministry.
The Health Ministry stresses the importance of submitting a set of documents yet there are no clear standards set in place in completing the required paperwork. This is further worsened because there is no guidance hence we feel there is not enough attention given by the Health Ministry to solve this issue. In our opinion, the Health Ministry is supposed to assist manufacturers and guide these industry players so as to become aware of products that are deemed safe as well as for product registration procedures. We believe that the Joko Widodo administration must reform the Ministry of Health so as to support our industry.
The ASEAN Economic Community poses an additional challenge for our company aside from the overflow of Chinese goods in Indonesia which we believe our country is not ready to compete with. Pricing is also a problem due to unfair competition in addition to cash flow which hampers local companies from expanding overseas. My concern is that in the next five to 10 years, China would have already established a strong presence in our domestic market. While the government is open-minded in joining free trade agreements, we believe that they have not properly prepared local companies in facing increased international competition.
Rising labour costs in Indonesia have also led the decrease in the country’s competitiveness level as local workers have not yet maximised their productivity level and skillset. To relieve this, the government must strive to reduce the living costs. In addition, the strength and growing influence of labour unions in the country constantly creates concerns amongst businesses in Indonesia.
We have already established numerous partnerships with international companies who utilises our manufacturing services. Our client portfolio includes firms from the United States, Jordan, the Seychelles Islands, and the European region which are well-aware of our competitive advantages in the industry. Global International Foods is seeking an overseas partner to assist in export activities particularly for the Middle East region where we are more than willing to share our knowledge in the production of various food products such as traditional Indonesian crackers, spices, and seasonings.
Global International Foods can serve as the ideal local partner for companies interested in entering the local spices and seasonings manufacturing industry. We pride ourselves in our reliable after-sales services and quick delivery time which has become synonymous to our company’s name. Our streamlined manufacturing processes and effective inventory system therefore ensures our partners are able to rely on Global International Foods for their business needs.