Entrepreneurs to gain tasty
business knowledge in Indonesia

New Zealand food innovators will gain valuable insights into Indonesia’s food and beverage sector on an Asia New Zealand Foundation tour this month.

Participants will experience the breadth of cuisines Indonesia has to offer

The group will visit the Southeast Asian country from 20 to 26 April as part of the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative, managed by the Foundation for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They will visit wet markets, high-end supermarkets, takeaway chains, food processing companies, as well as chocolate, coffee and spice companies.

The participants are:

  • Lucy Bennetto, Christchurch, founder, Bennetto Natural Foods
  • Nick Hammond, Auckland, chief operating officer, Spring Sheep Dairy
  • Morgan Maw, Auckland, founder, Bonnie Goods
  • Sachie Nomura, Auckland, founder, Sachie’s Kitchen
  • Florence Van Dyke, Nelson, head of exports and sales, CHIA
  • Alex Worker, Beijing, co-founder, Hatchery (and marketing and communication strategy manager, Fonterra).

In Jakarta, the group will interact with Indonesian counterparts, hear from experts in ecommerce and branding, meet New Zealand Ambassador Trevor Matheson, and attend a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise food and beverage event. They will also participate in an event with Indonesian entrepreneurs, organised in partnership with start-up organisation Endeavor Indonesia. They will then travel to the Surabaya, East Java, to meet key figures in that city’s food and beverage sector.

ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative project manager Adam McConnochie says the tour will help improve the capacity of New Zealand food and beverage companies to engage with Southeast Asia.

“Indonesia is New Zealand’s nearest Asian neighbour, the world’s fourth most populous country, and is extremely diverse. But most New Zealand companies don’t know much about it.

“The ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative has already brought some amazing entrepreneurs from Indonesia to New Zealand, and this has already been very successful in building networks between the two countries.”

In developing the programme, the Asia New Zealand Foundation is working particularly closely with Indonesian entrepreneur Indradi (Indi) Soemardjan.Soemardjan now exports sustainable coffee to Wellington company Ripe, after visiting New Zealand in 2014. In 2015, he was awarded a New Zealand ASEAN 40th Anniversary Award in recognition of his contributions to the Indonesia-New Zealand relationship. The group will also meet Indonesia’s “kebab king” Hendy Setiono, another ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative alumnus.

Indonesia is New Zealand’s 12th largest trading partner, with two-way trade about $1.8 billion. The two countries have a free trade agreement in place through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA. A growing consumer class among the estimated population of 256 million make Indonesia an important market for New Zealand.

Running since 2012, the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative has brought more than 50 dynamic entrepreneurs and business leaders from Southeast Asia to New Zealand, building business connections and facilitating trade links. This is the third visit to Southeast Asia the Asia New Zealand Foundation has organised for New Zealand entrepreneurs. In 2015, a group of New Zealand technology entrepreneurs visited Thailand and Singapore, while a group of social entrepreneurs visited the Philippines.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is the leading non-government organisation on New Zealand-Asia relations, with a range of programmes designed to equip New Zealanders with first-hand experience of Asia and to forge valuable links to the region. Founded in 1994, the Foundation works in five main areas - business, arts and culture, education, media and research. It also runs a Leadership Network and takes a lead role in track II (informal diplomacy) bilateral and multilateral dialogues in the Asia-Pacific region.