How Australia sees Indonesian beef crisis

  • December 17, 2012

 Prices of beef in Indonesia are skyrocketing and the effect of an earlier Australian live cattle ban is being debated in Australia.

However, Australia may be merely the “meat in the sandwich” in a battle for supremacy in Indonesia’s meat industry.

The Indonesian government quotas on beef imports  have worsened the crisis, says Flora Chrisantie from the Jakarta Beef Committee, which wants the import quotas eased.

It was reported on December 14th December 2012 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that consumers are being forced to turn to chicken in the wake of rising beef prices, which are now over AU$10 per kilo (100,000 Rp).

Australian Food News reported over 12 months ago that Indonesia was imposing cattle import quotas as part of its plan to become a self-sufficient producer of its own cattle supply. Australian Food News reported that the Australian government was assisting the Indonesian self-sufficiency program.

Ms Chrisantie says the government’s plan to be “beef self-sufficient” by 2014 is “impossible” because Indonesian farmers are continuing to sell and slaughter their breeding cows. She confirmed that the Jakarta Beef Committee has been lobbying for the government to increase quotas, and to halt its plan to place an import restriction of 267,000 cows from Australia in 2013, down from 283,000 in 2012.

The Jakarta Post has also reported that the South Jakarta Maritime and Agriculture Agency believes meat sellers in Jakarta have been selling pork meatballs instead of beef. This is devastating for Muslims, for whom eating pork is ‘haram’, forbidden.  Agung Priambodo, head of the Maritime and Agriculture Agency was quoted as saying that the vendors were “lured by the cheaper price of the ground pork”, which was advertised as beef and costs only AU$4 per kilo (40,000 Rp), compared with beef at almost 3 times that price.




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2 Responses to “How Australia sees Indonesian beef crisis”

  1. Maria on December 17th, 2012 4:45 pm

    Of course the price of meat is increasing – meat is unsustainable in a growing world population. More importantly, we should not be reducing these poor sentient animals to mere commodities where we talk about them in dollars. Let’s focus on plant food production instead – far more sustainable and less cruel.

  2. Jane Parker on December 18th, 2012 9:41 am

    Maria the price of meat is increasing in Indonesia due to political intervention, the cause of many of the worlds ills.
    Meat is part of a balanced diet as are plant foods. Meat can grow in Australia (on rangelands) that are unsuitable for crop production and meat production can always be a sustainable part of rangeland management.
    Plant foods (as you require them?) are not sustainable in these areas due to lack of water and climatic variations.
    The most sustainable areas for plant food production seem to be where most of the people are – so do we get rid of the people there so we can sustain the world’s growing population or do we create balance between people, animals and plants.
    And remember, plants are living organisms too – so next time you crunch into a fresh lettuce leaf straight from the garden, remember it is still a living thing – cruel??

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