Kali ini sy tak ingin plin-plan lagi. Sy tak kan lagi memajang Opini ter-tgl pasca-Lebaran. Sy ingin menikmati “Pensiun ke-2 saya”. Tapi sy masih tetap di lokasi yg sama, tak jauh dari keg “Chattingan Opini” kelompok elite (penulis, peneliti, cendekiawan). Sy ingin koleksi Opini sy bisa dinikmati secara gratis di perpus2 kampus. Saya berharap akan ada Komunitas Opini yg menyediakan layanan opini kpd anggotanya, yg memungkinkan tiap orang bisa meng-copy Opini di perpus2 secara gratis. Mau bantu?
Senin, 04 Maret 2013
Indonesian people victims of war on Australia’s live-cattle export trade
people victims of war
Australia’s live-cattle export trade
Ross Taylor ; Chairman of
the Western Australia-based Indonesia Institute (Inc) and A Former National
Vice President of the Australia-Indonesia Business Council
POST, 28 Februari 2013
One of Australia’s most respected and insightful
Buddhist leaders, Abbot Ajhan Brahm, once said that the problem with
seeking revenge is that you become a “victim of your own war”, in that you
can often suffer as much “damage” as the person to whom you are directing
It was good advice and something we all, at sometime, have been guilty of
It is also advice that is ironic given that Ajhan Brahm is highly admired
and respected in Indonesia, where he holds many seminars and retreats, at a
time when Indonesia’s agricultural officials are seeking and carrying-out
revenge on Australia’s cattle industry for our appalling handling of the
live-cattle export crisis in 2011.
As the Indonesian government recently announced further reductions in the
quota for live-cattle from Australia, the cattle industry in Australia
continues to slip further into despair with numerous stations now up for sale.
David Farley, managing director of Australian Agricultural Company (AAC)
said recently that the reduction in quotas by Indonesia would result in
even greater bankruptcies and job losses for an industry already in serious
trouble following our government’s impulsive decision to ban the export of
live cattle to Indonesia.
The impact of these latest cuts will be dramatic. Prior to the cattle ban
being imposed last year, Australia exported in excess of 520,000
head-of-cattle to Indonesia annually. This year the revised annual quota
will be reduced to just 230,000.
Notwithstanding the appalling treatment of these animals, Indonesia had
every right to feel aggrieved over the handling of this issue. Beef makes
up a very important part of the Indonesian diet, and to have the Australian
agriculture minister announce a total ban on the export of live-cattle to
Indonesia without any consultation with our near neighbor sent shock waves
through the entire supply chain and left Indonesian officials and ministers
embarrassed and seething.
It also played into the hands of “special interest groups” within Indonesia
who have, for many years, looked for a valid reason to kick Australian
suppliers out of the lucrative Indonesian meat market.
As a result, Indonesia announced that it intended to
become “self sufficient” in live-cattle that can be used for slaughter.
This maybe a noble objective but it is also not achievable, and nor is it
Indonesia has some of the finest horticulture land in the world; rich soils
with plenty of rainfall along with warm and humid conditions that allows
its people to grow a huge variety of crops and effectively become Asia’s
It does not make any sense to turn over pristine food growing land for the
purpose of breeding cattle. Those in the cattle industry have known for
years that, as the outgoing Western Australia trade director, Martin
Newbery said last month, “Australians are the best cattle breeders and
Indonesians, the best cattle feeders.” He is right.
For this reason, to have cattle bred in Australia, where we have the land,
infrastructure and expertise, then export them to Indonesia where they are
placed in feedlots and “bulked-up” not only makes sense, it is almost the
prefect supply chain structure whereby all parties win.
The Australian live-cattle trade should be booming on the back of
Indonesia’s strong economy and population growth, with the industry being
used as a model for the development of other major agricultural
partnerships between Australia and Indonesia.
Instead, we now have a relationship that is untrustworthy and fractured,
where Indonesia seeks to “payback” Australia for what it did to a trusted
friend, whilst simultaneously harming its own supply network and inflicting
shortages and increased prices on its own community.
The price of beef at the “wet markets” within Indonesia has effectively
doubled since the quota reductions in Australian beef as Indonesia
struggles to meet demand from its internal supplies and the black market is
So why does Indonesia now want to reduce the quota of Australian cattle
The answer is complicated but includes Indonesia’s desire to be
self-sufficient in beef supply and thus ensure Australia can never again
hold Indonesia to ransom by cutting-off a major food supply source without
But there are other more darker reasons behind Indonesia’s actions,
including self-interest groups seeking to make enormous profits from such a
ban, the rise of nationalism and a distrust in some quarters of Australia’s
agenda in developing the much lauded Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (CEPA) that will provide both countries opportunities to develop
far greater business and trade opportunities.
What is even more disturbing however, is that Australia’s agriculture
minister, Joe Ludwig, seems helpless in addressing this progression into
mutual economic self-harm at a time when Indonesia-Australia government
relations are said to be at an all time high.
Here in Indonesia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) is nearing the
end of his term. This is unfortunate timing for both countries as SBY has a
deep and warm respect for Australia, but internally, many Indonesians view
SBY as a president who has already “run his race” and perhaps what we are
now seeing is a small taste of things to come as Indonesia heads towards
electing a new president in 2014.
There exists significant opportunities for our two countries to work
together to build extensive and mutually beneficial partnerships as we move
into “The Asian Century”.
The live-cattle export industry should have been an example of how we can
develop these partnerships, yet sadly this industry has become an example
of what can go terribly wrong when international diplomacy is conducted “on
the run” by a minister who had little understanding of Indonesia or the
extent of the long term opportunities that would be lost as a consequence
his impulsive decisions.
Meanwhile, Indonesia continues to remind Australia about what it did and to
seek revenge for the shabby treatment from its neighbor; even if this means
higher prices and shortages for its own people.