JAKARTA: The Ministry of Trade plans to issue a decree which will ban imported meat to enter traditional markets, thus it can only be supplied to high-end food stores, restaurants and hotels.
The draft of the decree has been produced and is still being discussed internally. It aims at protecting local livestock breeders, said Director General of Foreign Trade at Ministry of Trade Deddy Saleh.
"The beef will only be supplied into modern market such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. It will be prohibited to enter traditional market," he said yesterday.
An Agriculture Minister decree currently does have such provision but it does not implemented well as imported beef can still be found in the traditional markets.
The planned decree from the trade ministry will enforce existing regulation on local meat trade, he said.
The Ministry of Trade has also been asked to provide different harmonized system (HS) number for imported premium cut, a secondary cut, carcass and offal.
Currently, those products use the same tariff code which hit local breeders differently. For example, carcass and offal can cause losses to local breeders because of its low prices, while premium cut is normally used for starred-hotels and restaurants.
HS specification is needed to clarify classification of each products, Deddy said. "I have proposed that [HS] to Ministry of Agriculture for classification," he said.
Similar measures should also be applied to the import of processed meat products from countries that have not yet been declared as free from foot and mouth disease (FMD).
Minister of Agriculture Suswono said the government will lower import quotas feeder cattle and beef next year from this year's quota.
The government has issued quota to import 93,000 tons of beef and 600,000 cattle in 2011. Importers are expected to realize the full quota for beef while cattle import quotas are not going to be fully realized.
Indonesia imported 296.600 cattles in January to September this year, while the country's cattle population reached 14.8 million heads, Suswono said, refering to the 2011 Central Bureau Statistic data.
The cattle population was in line with the government's road map for self-sufficiency in beef products which means imports may not be needed. (t03/ags)