Another step closer to or­ganic, green liv­ing

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Health-con­scious Jakar­tans are on a shop­ping spree this week­end.

Over 200 pro­duc­ers of or­ganic goods from var­i­ous cities are in town for an ex­hi­bi­tion at Ben­tara Bu­daya Jakarta in Cen­tral Jakarta.

The Or­ganic, Green & Healthy Expo, which ended over the week­end, of­fers a wide-range of goods, from fresh greens, or­ganic rice and drinks to brassieres made of or­ganic cot­ton, bring­ing the green lifestyle closer to home.

“We are on our way to set up the in­fra­struc­ture for or­ganic goods sales points,” said Christo­pher Emille Jayanata, founder of the In­done­sian Or­ganic Com­mu­nity (KOI) , the or­ga­nizer of the three-day ex­hi­bi­tion.

“Many still con­sider or­ganic prod­ucts a lux­ury. At the ex­hi­bi­tion we of­fer af­ford­able prod­ucts. Through this event we also en­cour­age pro­duc­ers to use the media as a pro­mo­tional tool.”

All par­tic­i­pants are mem­bers of KOI’s chap­ters in Bo­gor, Ban­dung, Surabaya, Batam and Makas­sar, as well as its newly es­tab­lished Yogyakarta chap­ter. At least 19 of 65 mi­crobusi­nesses in Yogyakarta and Cen­tral Java that are mem­bers of KOI are tak­ing part in the event.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, this year on its fifth run, has ed­u­cated both pro­duc­ers and the public on healthy food op­tions.

In 2011 — the event’s first run — the or­ga­nizer was only able to gather 45 pro­duc­ers, but dou­bled the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants the fol­low­ing year.

In 2013, it

part­nered

with media gi­ant Kom­pas Gra­me­dia, wel­com­ing 120 par­tic­i­pants. The num­ber in­creased to 140 par­tic­i­pants last year with 550 mil­lion ru­pees (US$37,200) in trans­ac­tions.

“This year we are aim­ing for 1.5 bil­lion ru­pees in trans­ac­tions ow­ing to an in­crease in de­mand and im­proved qual­ity of prod­ucts,” said Emille, adding that all prod­ucts had been cer­ti­fied within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Among the prod­ucts on of­fer is or­ganic tof­fee Towang made of non-ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied soy beans; Keep Me Fit or­ganic rice with zero sugar con­tent and high in cal­cium; Cook­well Or­gan­ics’ jam, chips, honey, pud­ding and ap­ple cider vine­gar; San­derm’s herbal drink made of su­per black rice; Da­pur Maya’s or­ganic sea­son­ings, gourmet salts and jam as well as fresh greens from Masada or­ganic farm in Bo­gor.

Felix Susanto, 29, has been pro­duc­ing nat­u­ral drink Healthee, made of won­der heal­ers Java turmeric and red ginger, since last year.

Ed­u­a­cated in in­te­rior de­sign, Felix re­al­ized one of his strong­est traits was his abil­ity to con­cep­tu­al­ize, a skill that helped him give birth to the idea of pro­duc­ing a Ja­vanese tra­di­tional herbal drink for the Jakarta mar­ket.

He used photo shar­ing site In­sta­gram to pro­mote and sell the prod­uct, which is priced at 20,000 ru­pees per bot­tle.

“We cur­rently pro­duce 600 bot­tles per month by or­der. The num­ber of our cus­tomers is in­creas­ing,” he said.

How­ever, the mi­crobusi­ness, man­aged by Felix and his par­ents, has yet to go fully or­ganic.

“We have a lim­ited ca­pac­ity and there­fore we can­not make reg­u­lar or­ders for in­gre­di­ents from or­ganic farm­ers. But we can as­sure con­sumers that we use only nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and pro­cess­ing,” said Felix.

Emille, who is a pro­ducer of or­gan­i­cally raised and fed chicken, ac­knowl­edged that the chain of lo­gis­tics and dis­tri­bu­tion of or­ganic prod­ucts had cost end-con­sumers.

“The cost of pro­duc­tion of or­ganic prod­ucts is low be­cause there is no need to use pes­ti­cides and the like. But the small amount of pro­duc­tion and the re­quire­ment of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and la­bel­ing for sale at mod­ern mar­kets, not to men­tion the trad­ing term and list­ing fee, adds cost to the prod­uct,” he said Emille.”It’s much cheaper if we sell it within a com­mu­nity just like we are do­ing at the expo.”

KOI has opened a mar­ket place for its mem­bers on Jl. Agus Salim in Cen­tral Jakarta and holds Se­lasa Tum­basan (Tues­day Trad­ing) ev­ery week.

“This way, pro­duc­ers can meet their clien­tele in- per­son,” said Emille, an ar­chi­tec­ture grad­u­ate from Ban­dung’s Parahyan­gan Catholic Univer­sity.

The Jakarta Post/Asia News Net­work

A cus­tomer buys or­ganic prod­ucts be­ing dis­played at an ex­hi­bi­tion at Ben­tara Bu­daya Jakarta in Cen­tral Jakarta on Satur­day, Oct. 3.

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