Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, demand for food has increased, especially with the (issuance of the) work-from-home policy
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has stressed that the food and beverage industry will continue production and distribution activities to help the country meet increased demand in wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

"Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, demand for food has increased, especially with the (issuance of the) work-from-home policy," Kartasasmita said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

The minister applauded local food and beverage industries which have maintained productivity despite global economic pressure following the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We are actively coordinating with the Agriculture Ministry and Trade Ministry to secure raw materials for the food and beverage industry," he added.

The minister also held a videoconference meeting with the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (GAPMMI) to seek inputs from business operators in the sector.

Kartasasmita said he was optimistic that the industry would contribute significantly to national economic growth this year.

"We are also prioritizing development of food and beverage businesses run by small and medium-scale enterprises," he added.

Chairman of GAPMMI, Adhi S Lukman, said the association would help the government meet the demand for food amid the current health crisis.

"This time, business operators have not focused on profit, but on ways to join the government in handling the problem," he noted.

According to Lukman, based on the experience of other countries, processed food and beverage products would remain the main source of food in time of disaster.

"I have conveyed to the Minister (of Industry) that we want to continue production and distribution to reach shopping malls and consumers. However, we need to pay attention to adequate supply of raw materials and smooth logistics," he said.

Meanwhile, the ministry's Secretary General, Achmad Sigit Dwiwahjono, said a number of industries in the country have continued to operate amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

He called on industry operators to apply the health protocol and follow the guidelines of the Health Ministry and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to avoid coronavirus transmissions. (INE)


Translator: Sella Panduarsa G, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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