The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 10/28/2008 2:49 PM
An average 62 percent of Indonesian food products exported to the U.S. are rejected each year because they fail to meet food safety standards, an expert said at a seminar on Tuesday.
The rejections came because Indonesian SMEs were seemingly incapable of upgrading their facilities so as to maintain the required levels of hygiene, said Purwiyatno Hariyadi, director of the Southeast Asian Food & Agricultural Science & Technology (Seafast) center.
Puwiyatno added that if the government were to offer help to improve hygiene -- such as through incentives, training or subsidies -- these steps must be made within the reach of SMEs.
"Approximately 75 percent of SMEs we survey do not meet the required standards for food hygiene," Purwiyatno said.
Therefore, he said, the government must take action to facilitate improving small firms' food safety standards.