Indonesia in a ‘cheesy’ launch supported by Arla Foods

The Indonesian minister of agriculture (center) at the launch event. Photo: Arla Foods

Indonesia has launched its first locally-made and organic cheese this week, as a result of an international project involving the Danish dairy cooperation, Arla Foods.

Artisanal manufacturer Mazaraat Artisan Cheese has produced the first example, which came out as a hard, yellow cheese. It will be sold in local hotels, cafés and restaurants, and the first exports to Singapore are already on its way.

The partnership with Arla came about after a delegation of the Indonesian government representatives, as well as farmers from the Setia Kawan Nongkojajar Dairy Farm Cooperative (KPSP) in East Java, visited Denmark to learn about organic dairy production – which is exactly what Arla Food wants to support.

Goals and support

In 2022, the first pilot projects were kicked off and now in 2023, Mazaraat Artisan Cheese could launch their first batch of locally-produced organic cheese. Right now, the milk volume amount to 60 liters daily, but it is set to increase to 250 liters per day by the end of the day – and to 6000 liters by 2026.

The project is managed by SEGES Innovation together with The Innovation Centre for Organic Farming who are providing agricultural expertise from Denmark, supported by The Danish Agricultural and Food Council. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NGO Bina Swadaya, an Indonesian organic certification body called LeSOS are also supporters of the initiative.

“The Danish food cluster has a long and celebrated tradition of producing organic dairy of the highest quality. In this project, we are combining the expertise and data acquired over decades with local players bringing an entrepreneurial spirit and market knowledge to accelerate the journey towards reaching national targets to the benefit of the whole Indonesian dairy sector,” Jeppe Søndergaard Pedersen, International Chief Consultant at the Danish Agriculture and Food Council elaborates.

The first cheese example is ready. Photo: Arla Foods

The reason for starting out small 

While the overall demand for dairy in Indonesia is set to increase by 6 percent in 2023, locally-made dairy is a small niche, as 80 percent of their dairy products are imported – and organic dairy is only believed to make up no more than 2 percent of the market.

However, in order to fully establish a new organic dairy standard in Indonesia, they must first learn how to operate with doing so in their own country, whilst receiving training in things such as cow management, organic feed, barn design, use of herbal medicine.

“We can’t just copy standards from other countries and expect it to work. The certification process of going from conventional farming to organic can also be expensive, so there’s a need to figure out how we support that in an Indonesian context,” Vytautas Petronis. MD for Arla in Indonesia, said.

As Indonesia is on the ongoing journey towards organic and local dairy products, Arla is offering the country organic UHT milk, whipping cream, snacking cheese and cream cheese.

Source: Arla Foods

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Sofie Rønnelund

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