SIGNING OF A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN
THE INDONESIAN SUGAR REFINER ASSOCIATION
WITH “WARGA INDAGKOP” COOPERATIVE AND “KORPRI BANTEN” COOPERATIVE
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian Sugar Refiner Association (Asosiasi Gula Rafinasi Indonesia/AGRI hereafter referred to as AGRI), “WARGA INDAGKOP” Cooperative and “KORPRI BANTEN” Cooperative on March 18, 2012, AGRI shall have a role in encouraging partnership between large scale industries with micro, small and medium sized businesses as intended in Law Number 20 of 2008 regarding micro, small and medium Sized Enterprises, especially Article 16 and Article 25. This is also a follow-up of the Coordination Meeting for the Supervision of Program Implementation/Management of DIPA Activities of 2013, Directorate General for Small and Medium Sized Industries (hereafter referred to as SMI) of the Ministry of Industry in Surabaya on March 18-21, 2013.
The Ministry of Industry highly supports this partnership and hopes that the partnership will be able to overcome the fluctuations in price and supply which often occur in the market. The Ministry also promised to continue facilitating such partnerships between SMI and producers of staples and other supporting products. SMI plays an important role in the national economic structure. “The number of SMI units comprises 96% of total industries. Looking at the socio-economic characteristics of Indonesia, SMI is a strength in achieving national development,” stated Euis Saedah, Director General for SMI, Ministry of Industry.
H. Suryo Alam, Chairman of AGRI, in his opening address stated that after the establishment of this partnership there will be more legal certainty for Cooperatives to distribute white sugar to a large number of food and beverages SMI supervised by the Office Province of Industry and Trade in Banten. He further stated that the ability of small and medium sized food industries to compete on the market will increase through improved product quality due to the certainty in the availability of white sugar as the main ingredient required by those industries, even though the capability of SMI at present is still limited.
The Chairman of AGRI regretted that there is still considerable misunderstanding about white sugar, which is often regarded to be half-processed sugar, which is not yet fit for consumption and needs to be further processed. This opinion should be rectified because white sugar is a sugar of international standards, safe for consumption and “halal” according to Islamic rules.
AGRI members play an important role considering that they supply about 50% of the national demand for sugar. It is true that some of the raw material for white sugar is still imported, but this is because of the shortage of land for developing new sugar cane plantations.
Another plus factor is that five out of eight AGRI members reside in Banten so that the distribution of white sugar as an implementation of the signed MOU will not be difficult. The support from the Banten Provincial government and the Director General for Small and Medium Sized Industries, Ministry of Industry, will improve the efficiency of distribution channels. Concern about the possibility of leakages in the distribution of white sugar later in the implementation, which has always been a major obstacle, will be resolved with the supervision from the Banten Provincial government in the distribution of white sugar to cooperative members. These were some of the issues presented by H. Suryo Alam, Chairman of AGRI, in his opening address.
Since August 2012, AGRI has actively initiated and developed similar partnerships with the government and various other cooperatives and small and medium-sized food industry associations in other regions such as West Java, Central Java, Special Region of Yogyakarta, and North Sulawesi.
The first signing was done by the First Party, H. Suryo Alam, Chairman of the Indonesian Sugar Refiner Association, and the Second Party, H. Hudaya Latuconsina, Head of the “KORPRI BANTEN” Cooperative.
The second signing was done by the First Party, H. Suryo Alam, Chairman of the Indonesian Sugar Refiner Association, and the Second Party, Mulyadi, Head of the “WARGA INDAGKOP” Cooperative.
The government was represented by Euis Saedah, Director General for Small and Medium Sized Industry, Ministry of Industry, and H. Ranta Soeharta, Head of the Office Province of Industry and Trade in Banten who acted as witnesses of the event. In addition to government officials, cooperatives, SMI associations, management and representatives from AGRI members and the private sector industries, members of the print and electronic media as well as other invitees were also present.
In an effort to promote knowledge about white sugar, a presentation was given by AGRI about white sugar. Furthermore, the National Agency of Drug and Food Control also gave a presentation on safe healthy food processing. H. Suyono, Chairman of the Small and Medium Sized Agro Industry Association, West Java, who already has an ongoing partnership with the Indonesian Sugar Refiner Association, shared his experience of the implementation of such a Memorandum of Understanding in a presentation.