Boosting Organic Food in Indonesia

Indonesia Organic is a business based on social and non-profit entrepreneurship. The idea behind it is to centralize agriculture sales for small farmers, so buyers have an easer time finding them. The website also connects stakeholders in the organic value chain and provides information.

As of 2010, Indonesia Organic has had up to 500 visits a day from over 136 countries. It also assists farmers who want to convert to organic farming and cannot find information. It assists businesses who want better exposure. It also gets international inquiries about organic food.

Organic Food Production in Indonesia is Growing

As of last year there was a 15% increase in exports in organic food from Indonesia. Several organizations have also worked towards raising the profile and benefits of organic food. One of these organizations is The Learning Farm, which was set up three years ago by U.S.-based non-governmental organization World Education and is now run by the Karang Widya Foundation. It trains street children and vulnerable youth in various skills, including organic farming.

In Jakarta, people can order fresh vegetables from distributors including Kandaga Organic, The Learning Farm, and Organic Food Indonesia. The companies all have home delivery services following their harvests. Organic Food Indonesia focuses more on organic rice than vegetables.

The demand for organic produce is growing throughout Asia according to a 2006 report by market analyst Organic Monitor. The group estimates the market is expanding by 30-40% annually in places including Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. The global consumption of organic produce and other related products had increased to $52 billion in 2008 from $23 billion in 2002. Currently, Indonesia has seven organic food certification agencies. They have certified 48 organic farmer groups farming areas covering 102,000 hectares. The Indonesian government has announced plans to boost this number.

The Future of ‘Indonesia Organic’

For all these reasons, Indonesia Organic is a promising project for the wider context of the organic value chain. More traffic will attract more sponsors and advertisers which will help the business concept and marketing plan. PUM in Netherlands has assessed the project and it has found that “the portal will be self-sustainable and even generate a positive cash flow that will be donated in a separate fund to support and to invest in social projects as a kind of revolving fund” if support resources are boosted.

It has also found that the project needs urgently initial “acceleration funding” as a preliminary investment to develop an effective portal. The investment will be returned and the portal will be self-sustainable in 3-4 years to serve the organic world. Initiatives such as these require public support to grow and thrive. Indonesia Organic is currently self-funded and the project is seeking both venture capital and business supporters.
Thanks to Darsih and Sonia for their time and information provided.

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also

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