AEGIC back in Indonesia engaging with wheat customers

03 August, 2023

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After several years of limited travel, it’s fantastic to be back in person in Australia’s key markets.

Engaging with customers face to face allows us to demonstrate hands-on the specific benefits of Australian wheat and other grains. Importantly, it also gives customers the chance to give us feedback on any issues they may be having with Australian grain quality or supply.

AEGIC Wheat Quality Technical Markets Manager Dr Larisa Cato and Senior Economist Dr Chris Carter recently spent two weeks travelling across Indonesia speaking with the production and technical teams of several flour milling companies about their wheat quality requirements, and exploring opportunities to get more value from Australian wheat.

Australian wheat has a good reputation in Indonesia, especially for noodles, and Indonesia is typically Australia’s biggest wheat buyer. But in recent years, Australian wheat exports have been under intense pressure from lower-cost exporters. We believe continually keeping Indonesian customers engaged, informed and educated about the benefits of using Australian wheat is crucial to ensure Australian wheat is positioned as a preferred choice.

Larisa and Chris visited mills, food companies and universities in Jakarta, Makassar and Semarang.

Meeting with Indofood, one of the world’s largest instant noodle manufacturers.

In the lab at Bogasari Flour Mill.

AEGIC Senior Economist Chris Carter analysing roti tawar (white toast bread): a potential opportunity for Australian wheat.

Long-time collaborators

AEGIC has collaborated with Bogasari, the largest flour mill in the world, for many years. It’s always fantastic to get back in the lab with our friends at Bogasari and demonstrate the quality and value of Australian wheat.

During this trip, we explored potential new uses for low-protein Australian hard wheat, including crunchy snacks and cakes. Identifying products that can be made with low protein wheat might help preserve demand if hard wheat gets downgraded because of low protein.

Separately, we were also very pleased to spend time with our friends at Sriboga Raturaya Flour Mill, Eastern Pearl Flour Mill, Cerestar and Mayora.

With Bogasari Flour Mill exploring Australian low protein wheat for Indonesian style snack foods.

Finding new uses for low protein Australia wheat can help preserve value for growers.

AEGIC Wheat Quality Technical Markets Manager Dr Larisa Cato inspecting some sponge cake. Australian low protein wheat has potential for cakes and cookies.

“Made in Indonesia with Australian oats”.

Chris Carter spotted these premium products in Jakarta marketed as containing Australian oats. Asian consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious – a great opportunity for Australian oats. With investment from the WA Government through DPIRD, AEGIC is helping position Australian oats as the preferred choice in Asian markets.

Chris is also investigating the health and sustainability claims of Asian food products to identify potential trends and opportunities for Australian grains.

“Oatside” oat milk, made in Indonesia using Australian oats.

Dr Carter is investigating the health and sustainability claims of Asian food products.

Australian oats are a selling point for some Indonesia products.

Australian wheat: street food star

As always, Larisa and Chris made a point of sampling as many Indonesian wheat food products as possible in between meetings. Australian wheat is used across Indonesia, mainly for noodles, but also for snack products and as general purpose flour.

One of the most popular snacks in Indonesia is martabak, a pan-fried bread product, which comes in various savoury and sweet forms and is often made with Australian wheat.

Getting more Australian wheat into premium bread and bakery products is a key focus for AEGIC and one of our favourite topics when we speak to mills.

Martabak dough is pressed and stretched by hand, so good extensibility is needed. Australian Premium White (APW) wheat is considered the best.

Savoury fillings are added and then it’s into the oil.

The finished product – a filling street food snack for people on the go, made using Australian wheat.

Thank you very much to all our Indonesian collaborators for making the time to meet with AEGIC and talk about the benefits of Australian wheat.

AEGIC has been travelling across South East Asia, Japan and Korea during May, June and July. Stay tuned for more updates.

Meeting with Eastern Pearl Flour Mill and their bakery customers in Makassar.

A Jakarta bakery in action

Here’s to Australian wheat in Indonesia!

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