Another step closer to organic, green living
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
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.
A customer buys organic products being displayed at an exhibition at Bentara Budaya Jakarta in Central Jakarta on Saturday, Oct. 3.