Indonesian trade officials are reportedly in talks with officials in Japan to resume poultry exports, which were halted in early 2004 following an avian influenza outbreak that affected many local poultry breeders.

Producers in Indonesia have expressed their readiness to ship processed poultry products to Japan, which could boost export earnings to at least US$200 million a year.

McDonald’s Japan discontinued purchasing chicken from China’s Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. after the exposure of a food safety scandal involving sales of expired meat at the end of July 2014. Seeking import substitutes, Indonesian producers may provide an alternate from Thailand, which has been supplying the majority of the Japanese market. 

Advertisement

Indonesian poultry producers could meet standards applied in Japan and had already gained a competitive edge compared to rivals in China or Thailand thanks to efficient production, according to Indonesian Poultry Breeders Association (GAPPI) chairman, Anton J. Supit. “I am optimistic now we can make it. We still only need to see whether the price matches or not,” Supit said.

A staff member in agriculture at the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia, Kazuko Takabatake, said two Japanese veterinary officials will carry out on-site inspections at five factories from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29, but declined to specify the names of the firms. According to Takabatake, “They will check to see whether the factories are sufficiently hygienic and whether the whole producing process is carried out appropriately."