Indonesian Fresh Produce Export

The Indonesian Horticultural Industry is the last remaining industry that has not been exploited. It is a known fact that all Industrialized Nations of today achieved their industrialization through the initial development of their agricultural potential which in turn led to the development of other support industries. Through the establishment of the farmer as the country’s middleclass, this lead to the development of industries that catered to the needs of the purchasing power of the farmer and his family. Examples of such countries are:

The West

USA Germany France Italy Spain


Japan Korea Thailand

This industry is measured in the 10s of billions of US dollars in revenue generated by theses respective nations. In Asia, the latest nation to harness this natural and unending wealth is
Thailand. Over the last 15 years the King of Thailand has himself lead the national move to exploit his country’s underdeveloped and unharnessed wealth. The result has been miraculous to the nation and now the country has gone to phase two of the national development of their Horticultural industry.

This enormous potential has remained dormant in Indonesia up until now.

Through extensive research, development and experimentation in the export of Indonesia’s horticultural produce over the last 5 years, the company i work for -because of its strong belief and convictions and at it’s own risk has finally broken the barriers of technology by investing all the resources at its disposal to show and prove to the nation and government bodies related to this industry that this Industry can be the savior of the country from its current economic woes, by exporting fresh produce via sea. In October of 2004, history has been made, when the first 30 x 40ft Controlled Atmosphere reefer containers carrying FRESH INDONESIAN MANGOS were shipped to the Middle East. These shipments have proven to be successful. The initial cargo arrived in very good condition and was sold at good price. Although, at a later stage quality problems developed, due to the late receiving of the cargo by our customers. This was caused by our inability to pay the sea freight on time.

Geographical position of Indonesia gives it a unique advantage that no other country on this earth has. This being that when its crop of produce is in season, very few or no other country in the world is in season and alternately, it has produce that are available all year round.

This benefits the industry and the country in two characteristics:

  1. When the product is seasonal and we are the only producing country, this allows us to be the sole supplier to the world with practically no competition except from other future exporters in our own country. However, this possibility is also limited as the international market is so vast and no matter what volume we export, the international market can absorb.
  2. When the product is non seasonal and is available all year round plus our product cost is so cheap, that it affords us the capability to be extremely competitive and we can be classified as the “Chinese” of Exotic Produce at the International market.

The products that are currently categorized with natural characteristics for sea freight transport capability and exportable are:


Mango (Gedong) Mango (Kidang) Mango (Golek)

Mango (HM) Mango (Cengkir) Watermelon (Red)

Watermelon Honey Dew Melon Marquisa

Rambutan Mangosteen Banana

Mandarin Pineapple Pineapple

Guava Soursop Avocado


Ginger Chili (red) Chili (green)

Capsicum Shallots Lime

Tomatoes (Beef) French Beans Broccoli


Coconut (Mature)

All the above items possess the characteristics to be harvested, processed and shipped by sea to destinations as far as Europe.

Indonesia is not known as an exporter or producer of these products on the international market. Even the United Nations in its analysis of future upcoming nations as exporters of Exotic Produce did not consider Indonesia as a player in the International market. But it did mention Vietnam, Laos and even Myanmar as potential future players. Hence, there must be an introductory phase to go through to build up the confidence of buyers in the International market, that Indonesia is a producer of Quality Produce.

To do the above, we must ensure that every container that leaves the country is of international quality standard. But for the long term objective to fully develop this industry and achieve the volume that will equate revenue to the nation’s coffers in the form of foreign exchange earnings, it is important to educate our farmers on how to take care of their crop and how to harvest it. In excess of 50% of produce harvest is of top quality, but is sadly turned to waste and thrown away because of poor harvesting and post harvest handling. This is contributed to the reason that our farmers have no incentive to take any effort to harvest their crop properly. However, if we educate our farmers that by harvesting properly, they can get better prices and once quality at the farmers’ level is achieved, technology in processing fresh produce takes over to deliver the produce in prime condition to our world wide customers. With this happening, Indonesia will immediately be accepted as a player in the international market.

It is our belief that our farmers will become the middle class citizen of this nation. This is not an impossible feat. When a farmer increases his crop yield through proper maintenance of his trees and plants and by getting better and higher value for his harvest, his income will naturally increase and this will allow him to not only spend on himself and his family, but to also save excess monies for a rainy day. Furthermore, with this industry developing, the youths in villages will no longer look to the cities seeking employment, as employment will be more than available in their own villages taking care of their family farmland.

The business has invested in two fresh produce processing factories located in: West Krawang (West Java) and Buleleng (Bali-on the construction progress)

These two processing areas are the first of many to come. We have located these factories in these areas due to their close proximity to central production area in West Java and Bali. The criteria needed to establish these facilities are as follows:

  1. 100 to 150 km radius to be the farthest distance from central production areas
  2. Water, communications, electricity & road access to international ports
  3. Availability of adequate human resources, minimum 300 to 1,000 people

Export potentials:

Product Containers per year Tons per 40ft Annual tonnage
Mango (alphonso) 180 19 3,499
Mango (Sweet fragrance) 190 19 3,694
Mango (Golden) 50 19 972
Mango (Keitt) 50 19 972
Pineapple 740 19 14,208
Rambutan (air) 16 0
Rambutan (sea) 66 15 990
Mangosteen (air) 16 0
Mangosteen (sea) 64 15 960
Lime 119 26 3,124
Watermelon 720 26 18,792
Avocado 0 0
Ginger 0 0
Coconut 710 28 19,525
Chilli (Red) 0
Total annual Tonnage 2,921 66,736

Future sites that have been investigated and found to be of major potential are:


Magelang – Central Java

Probolinggo – East Java

MalangEast Java

PadangWest Sumatra

Brastagi – North Sumatra

Makassar – South Sulawesi

ManadoNorth Sulawesi


The most important aspect of developing this Industry is its human resource development. There are many young university graduates in the horticultural field from around the country that are currently unemployed that will brought into our organization to be trained in supervisory and middle management roles for future expansion. In the future, it will be these young people that will become the leaders of our Industry. This has already been embarked on in our Krawang Facility and soon to be expanded to our Bali Facility once it is operational.

This historic venture is in danger of collapse due to the lack of understanding, the lack of courage and vision by financial institutions to support it financially. The company has bit the bullet and taken the moral and financial commitment to make this venture in its first initial phase a success. Alhamdulillah, this has been achieved.

Due reckless and irresponsible companies in this field who were seeking a quick return without consideration of consequences, the horticultural industry has been blacklisted as an industry that needs to be developed and financed by the country’s financial institutions. It is sad to see that financial institutions are giving priority to consumptive industries such as automotive, household needs, imports, credit cards etc. but to finance or even to take a “RISK” to finance the only industry that has the means to extract this nation out of its doldrums, than all the walls of rejection comes up.


~ by rhyme de ma vie on November 16, 2004.

One Response to “Indonesian Fresh Produce Export”

  1. Iwould like to see an update on thos project since 2004.

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