As Indonesia’s retail sector grows more sophisticated, there is an increasing need for a set of professionally certified standards for suppliers, many of whom are small operators who lack an understanding of trading terms, the country’s retailer association says.
“Professional certification or a procedure to get a certificate on standard competency is part of our effort to upgrade quality,” said Thomas Darmawan, who doubles as chairman of the Association of Food and Beverage Producers and as a member of the National Certification Agency for Professionals.
“Hopefully through certification, which will be issued soon this year, there will be more suppliers with better standards in negotiating trading contracts, improved product quality and with better knowledge of existing rules, including those from the Trade Ministry,” Thomas said.
The product quality standards and professional certification are still being formulated and are expected to be implemented on approval by the retailer association and the Trade Ministry, he said.
“The product certification is part of the solution to prevent more complaints from modern shop owners and retailers, because often suppliers sometimes do not have a proper understanding of trading terms and quality standards,” he said.
Irawan D. Kadarman, the corporate affairs director for Carrefour Indonesia, agreed, saying that in addition to certification, suppliers and retailers also must have a common understanding of trading terms product quality standards.
“We both should have a common understanding on the existing requirements of quality products, trading terms and working contracts that have a legal basis in line with Trade Ministry regulations,” Irawan said.
Carrefour, he added, is in compliance with a 2008 Trade Ministry decree on the management of traditional markets and modern retail outlets.
“Most of our products, or about 95 percent, are local products coming from around 4,000 suppliers, 70 percent of which are small and medium enterprises,” he said, making it necessary to work closely with them so that they understand Carrefour’s quality standards.