Indonesia has commenced the production of locally produced organic cheese with manufacturer Mazaraat Artisan Cheese.
The project was funded by Danida (Danish International Development Agency) with the aim to unlock the potential of organic production in the South-East Asian country and boost local dairy farming efficiency.
Jamie Najmi founder of Mazaraat Artisan Cheese, said, "Introducing the first ever organically produced cheese in Indonesia is something we are massively proud of and being part of this project is a fantastic opportunity."
Mazaraat Artisan Cheese is manufacturing the organic cheese at its new facility in Malang, Indonesia, using certified organic milk from the KPSP cooperative.
While the milk volume only amounts to 60 litres per day currently, supply is set to increase to 250 litres per day by the end of the year and to 6,000 litres per day by 2026.
Arla Foods is offering advanced processing expertise and go-to-market support from its experience working with both the organic category and artisanal cheese.
“With a direct line from increasing yield and quality at the farm level to the dedication and manufacturing skills at Mazaraat Artisan Cheese, this business case has all the components needed to succeed and spearhead the further development of organic dairy production in Indonesia and we are proud to contribute with our expertise,” said managing director for Arla Foods in Indonesia, Vytautas Petronis.
The cheese will be sold locally in hotels, cafés, and restaurants, and its first export agreement to Singapore is also in place.
In 2018 and 2019 delegations of representatives from the Indonesian government and farmers from the smallholder cooperative KPSP went on research trips to Denmark.
They gained insights about organic dairy production and formed a formal partnership.
First step in the project was capacity building and support for the local farmers at KPSP as they transitioned from conventional to organic farming.
This was carried out by Danish innovation company SEGES Innovation and ICOEL with support from the Indonesian organic certification body LeSOS, the NGO Bina Swadaya, and the cooperative itself.
Executive vice president of agriculture, sustainability and communication at Arla Foods, Hanne Søndergaard said, "It is a very joyous occasion to see the production commence. With the pandemic, a local outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, and supply chain disruptions, this project has been hit with several challenges along the way.
"But with the determination of all the partners involved, and with the support from the Indonesian government, we have been able to deliver on this very impactful project underlining Arla’s commitment to creating the future of dairy and supporting sustainable dairy production around the world."