Successful chain collaboration
Improving the availability of fresh vegetables in Bandung, Indonesia
In Indonesia, the demand for fresh and tasty vegetables is growing. However, sourcing high-quality fruit and vegetables all year round is a huge challenge for food retailers like Superindo, especially because growers do not always have sufficient knowledge, skills and equipment to guarantee a continuous supply of fresh produce. This challenge triggered the start of a successful local chain partnership between Superindo, growers’ cooperative ‘Al Ittifaq’ and vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan in Bandung, Indonesia. Novianto Novianto and Jos van der Knaap from Rijk Zwaan explain more about this collaboration.
Vegetable seeds, growers, supermarkets
“Superindo is Indonesia’s largest retailer. It is committed to advancing the local economy by collaborating with local farmers and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises to become their suppliers,” explains Jos. Superindo and growers’ cooperation Al Ittifaq were willing to collaborate with each other to improve the availability of fresh vegetables and contribute to a stable income for the growers. With the involvement of Rijk Zwaan, the whole value chain could be covered – from vegetable seed company to growers to retailer – to ensure the availability of fresh vegetables in supermarkets.
Empowering Al Ittifaq
“To be able to produce a continuous supply of high-quality vegetables, Al Ittifaq, a cooperative of 270 growers and farmers, needed a partner to help them boost production. We helped them to find the best vegetable varieties and provided training in the best way to grow high-quality vegetables under local conditions,” explains Novianto. He also introduced indoor growing in simple steel greenhouses and bamboo rain shelters, which offer many advantages in tropical countries like Indonesia: “In the rainy season, it is almost impossible to grow tomatoes outside. Indoor growing requires less pest control and corrective spraying, plus productivity is much higher. Retailers like Superindo benefit from a much more stable supply and higher-quality tomatoes with less residue.”
Indoor production is a good investment
Indoor production requires investment, however, which is often a major barrier preventing growers from getting started. “Projects like this one with Al Ittifaq enable us to show that it really is a good investment,” says Jos. Al Ittifaq is part of the Islamic School Network, an educational institute throughout Indonesia focusing on many aspects of society, including agribusiness through the Al Ittifaq growers’ cooperative.
Joining forces to create positive impact
The Dutch expert network PUM* took the initiative to encourage the collaboration and introduced Al Ittifaq, Superindo and Rijk Zwaan to each other. Jos: “This partnership is a perfect fit with our company values and our mission to actively contribute to the world’s food supply, together with chain partners.”
*PUM is a group of experts from the Netherlands who share their knowledge to enable the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries and emerging markets. See https://www.pum.nl/en for more information.
Read more chain stories on https://www.rijkzwaan.com/stronger-together
Pictures have been taken before the COVID pandemic