Arsianews, Jakarta – Tempe, a peculiarly Indonesian dish, began to penetrate the export market since last year. The soy-based food is targeted to enter the Saudi market.
General Chair of the Indonesian Tofu Tempe Producers Association (Gakoptindo) Aip Syarifuddin said tempe producers had exported their products to South Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia since mid-2018.
In total, tempe producers have succeeded in sending 20-30 tempe containers to the three export destinations. Each container contains approximately 20 tons of tempe.
According to Aip, craftsmen can sell tempe at double prices through exports. At present, the price of tempe in the country ranges from Rp 15,000-Rp 20,000 per kilogram (kg) domestically. If exported, the price can reach Rp 40,000-Rp 50,000 per kg.
“So from one container producer can get approximately Rp 800 million to Rp 1 billion. This can increase the welfare of tempe producers,” Aip told CNNIndonesia.com.
In addition to these three countries, the next export market target is Saudi Arabia. The reason is that Saudi Arabia offers a promising market because of many Indonesian people who carry out the Umrah and Haj pilgrimage there.
“In a year, more than 1 million umrah pilgrimage went there and haj pilgrimage were over 200,000 people. For 40 days they stayed in Saudi and they all liked tempe,” Aip said.
Although enthusiastic about targeting the export market, he ensured that the domestic market would not lack tempe. The exported tempe must also comply with the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) rules.
Soybean needs in Indonesia reach more than 2 million tons every year. Per 1 kg of soybeans can produce 1.8 kg of tempe. With this calculation, tempe producers can produce approximately 4-5 million tons of tempe per year. That amount is equivalent to domestic consumption needs.
Moreover, tempe exports are not always smooth. There are still obstacles in the form of foul threats in containers due to the length of the process at customs.
“We have export experience to Korea, because this is food, the inspection is so strict that it takes one week. So once the customs affairs are clear, the tempe is already rotten. We are losing money,” he said.
For this reason, as a facilitator, Gakoptindo will propose assistance from the government, both from the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Religion, and related stakeholders.
Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita said the government would encourage exports of tempe through the provision of food technology. Thus, it can reduce the risk of rot in containers.