We discovered that catch from the Lesser Sunda region routinely suffers a 40 to 60 percent loss in value before it reaches the consumer market.
The good news is we’re changing that with a re-imagined supply chain. By fixing the cold chain and investing in efficiency, our goal is to move from this substantial loss in value to as much as 95 percent value capture.
Traditionally, the region’s small boat fleet fish one or two days at a time. Very few have access to ice, so when they present their catch to a local collector, it’s possible it has been out of the water for as much as 48 hours. No payment is made and few records are kept when the catch is handed over. The fish begins a journey of several days, across Indonesia’s chain of islands to the urban processing centers of Bali and Surabaya. En route, the fish gets passed along to a series of often-predatory aggregators who transport the fish in trucks that sometimes have no refrigeration.
Consequently, the amount of that fish makes it to the market in salable condition is greatly reduced. If it doesn’t make it, the fishermen, who typically have to wait anywhere from four days to a full two weeks to get paid, simply get no compensation for the spoiled fish.
The result is substantial value loss, limiting the product’s marketability. Much product only reaches local markets, where prices are suppressed but spoilage is low.
By investing in local ice and processing plants, removing the predatory middlemen and showing fishers that quality earns premium prices in a Pay for Grade compensation system, NAI and BSI are able to capture the value lost under the traditional system and enhance the standard of living for thousands of people in the region.