The story of Bingin
‘Innovation despite a conservative market’
Bingin Mustika owns Plaga Farm. He grows lettuce, tomatoes and herbs on four hectares in the tropical climate on the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali. The Indonesian hospitality industry is an important market for Plaga Farm. Bingin has managed to overcome the industry’s conservatism thanks to Rijk Zwaan’s Salanova®.
Continuity of supply
“We sell 90 percent of our vegetables to hotels, restaurants and cruise ships. For these customers, continuity of supply is the most important factor. If you fail to deliver once, it is hard to get them to order from you again.
The climate is favourable for growing high-quality vegetables. But there are not many large, professional farms like us who offer cold chain logistics, i.e. the vegetables are continuously refrigerated during transport.”
“The product quality is just as important to our customers. It must be consistently good. Innovation is less of a priority. Almost all restaurants display standard pictures of the dishes on their menus and they don’t like to make changes.”
Alternative to import
“When presenting new products, we usually approach the chefs. It takes time to let them get used to a new idea. Rijk Zwaan assists us, such as by participating in culinary events and trade fairs for the hospitality industry.
Salanova is one innovation that enabled us to build up a position very successfully. We have introduced this new lettuce type on the Balinese market and it has been particularly welcomed by the high-end, five-star hotels. This lettuce is a little more expensive than conventional crops, but these hotels can afford it. They want Salanova because of its good flavour and distinctive appearance. Previously, these customers could only rely on imported vegetables if they wanted to serve ‘Western-quality’ vegetables. Now, we offer them an alternative solution.”