Indonesia seeks alternatives of meat supply after Australia's exports ban

08:21, June 17, 2011      

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Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said on Thursday that the government considers the United States and Mexico as new sources of meat supply to Indonesia following Australia's exports ban.

The minister said that the two countries have been free from cattle disease, while the others have not.

"According to the rules of import, the sources (countries) must be 100 percent free from diseases. If I am not making mistakes, the countries categorized as free from the disease are only the United States and Mexico," Minister Pangestu said at the Trade Ministry office.

Indonesia imported beef and live cattle from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, but recently the government of Australia, which exports the biggest portion of live cattle to Indonesia, temporarily banned the exports due to the issue of cattle cruelty in Indonesia's abattoirs. Australia exported over 600,000 live cattle annually to Indonesia. The minister said that the Indonesian government is now seeking alternatives of supply sources.

"We are still coordinating at the level of ministries to seek the possibilities to find new sources of supply. Going forward, we will see some possibilities. (But) so far, there has been no concrete act," she said.

Regarding to the impact of Australia's exports ban on Indonesia 's meat supply, the minister played down the impact, saying that Indonesia still has sufficient supply up to several months.

"Our domestic meat supply in the form of beef and live cattle is sufficient," said Pangestu. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, is to face Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the Islamic festivity in the second half, during which the demand on meat will increase.

"We will keep monitoring the supply up to the festivity, the supply must be sufficient, so that price hike can be avoided," said Pangestu.

Indonesia and Australia are jointly verifying the cruelty issue on the abattoirs.

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