Indonesian feedlot co-owned by CPC starts importing Northern Territory buffalo again

By Matt Brann

Published on 11 April 2017, on

A feedlot in Indonesia, which is 80 per cent owned by the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), has started importing buffalo from the Northern Territory again, after a break of several years.

cpc-indonesian-feedlots-importing-northen-territory-buffaloCPC chief executive Troy Setter said changes to the protocols for importing feeder buffalo had allowed JJAA to trial a shipment of nearly 200 buffalo.

Like many importers in Indonesia, the Juang Jaya Abdi Alam (JJAA) feedlot in Lampung used to buy buffalo from Australia, but ceased in 2011 because of a range of issues.

“JJAA has been looking at alternative options to rebuild the numbers on feed, following the last few years of permit issues and a slowdown in the market,” he said.

“Australia and Indonesia negotiated two or three years ago an updated protocol for live feeder buffalo, and there’s been some tweaks to that over the last 12 months.

“So it’s a protocol we can now use to import buffalo and we’ve taken nearly 200 buffalo from Darwin over to Indonesia as a trial, and so far so good.”

Why bother with buffalo?

CPC is Australia’s largest privately owned beef producer, which controls a herd of about 360,000 head of cattle, spread out over 16 stations covering more than 5.6 million hectares.

It runs cattle, not buffalo.

Mr Setter said the company’s interest in the buffalo trade had been driven by a number of factors.

“We’ve got a good asset in Indonesia which has fed Australian buffalo before and has the pens and infrastructure to look after buffalo,” he said.

“We also work quite closely in northern Australia with several Indigenous communities and land councils, who have come to us and said that having markets for buffalo would be quite helpful for their economic and social viability.

“So we think there’s potential for a win-win, both for the traditional owners who have got buffalo, and also for us with a feedlot in Indonesia that’s got a small customer base that likes fresh buffalo meat.”

The buffalo for JJAA’s first consignment were mostly sourced from a farm near Darwin, but some were harvested from the wild.

Mr Setter said the buffalo would be treated under the usual ESCAS animal welfare standards and were likely to be stunned prior to slaughter.

“It’s really early days, so we just want to test the market as well as the production system for these 200 buffalo and then make an assessment from there,” he said.

“Several years ago Indonesia was a good market for a couple of thousand head of buffalo a year out of northern Australia, and I don’t see why it can’t get back to that again.”

According to Indonesian media, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture has recommended three importers be allowed to import up to 2,400 feeder buffalo this year.

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