trade, started in April 1992, has developed through "face-to-face relationships
including exchanges with producers. Eco-shrimps were certified as organic
products in June 2002 by Naturland.
In June, 2003 a local company was established to develop activities based in the production areas.
Background of Eco-shrimp Trade
In 1990, a year after its establishment, ATJ had to stop shipment of Balangon bananas after Negros Island was hit by powerful typhoon "Lupin." ATJ needed to find another product to continue its alternative trade. At the same time, Green-Coop, a major stockholder of ATJ, was looking for sustainable fishing that does not affect the environment. ATJ then began to look at the feasibility of shrimp as a new product. In February 1991, the representatives in charge of marine products from each of the stockholding consumers' cooperatives visited ponds for raising shrimp in Indonesia. In Surabaya, East Java, they met a producer, Haji Amunann who was raising shrimps with a method similar to "organic farming" at his pond surrounded by abundant nature and water. The meeting led to the start of Eco-shrimp trade.
Various problems caused by shrimp culture
Shrimp trade was liberalized in 1961, and import of shrimp to Japan drastically increased from the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1973, Japan passed the US to become the leader in shrimp import. More than 80% of shrimp for Japanese consumers was imported from Southeast Asia, where big trading companies and transnational corporations invested large amounts of capital in the shrimp industry. As a result, intensive shrimp farming spread, leading to increased shrimp imports to Japan. While this type of farming produced large amounts of shrimp in small ponds quickly with heavy use of biochemical substances, it caused serious environmental problems and the spread of disease. To prevent disease, more chemicals were applied. Both the surrounding environment and the ponds were polluted. And it was the shrimps from those ponds that were being put on the dining tables of Japanese consumers.
Eco-shrimp ponds with extensive shrimp farming
People in Sidoarjo have been engaged in traditional Bandeng (milkfish) farming in the natural environment for more than 300 years. Since the end of the 1980s, when shrimp farming expanded, people in Sidoarjo began to stock the ponds with the larvae of black tiger shrimp along with bandeng. Then they made various innovations in their farming method to suit it to the habits of shrimp, which led to the present farming practices.
Like organic farming, Eco-shrimp farming depends on nature and protects the environment to produce food necessary for human beings.
From the beginning of Eco-shrimp trade with local producers committed to traditional shrimp farming, ATJ emphasized a direct relationship between producers and consumers based on its "five principles of trade". In 2001 it was decided to introduce an organically certified production system in cooperation with the German-based Naturland, an organization known for organic certification of shrimp. The purpose was to upgrade the quality and safety of Eco-shrimp, while preserving the tradition, values and farming methods of local producers. Although the system has been introduced in limited areas, ATJ intends to expand the system to other areas, too. The standards of organic farming of Naturland emphasize sustainable farming system, water control, environment conservation and animal welfare. For shrimp farming, protection of mangroves, prevention of water pollution and compound farming based on the ecosystem are required.
The First Black tiger with Organic Certification in the World.
ATJ and member producers went through a process of trial and error to work out an improved production control system suited to local conditions. It took almost one year from the start of the project for Eco-shrimp producers to start accepting the new system and the number of registrants increased. Then in June 2002 Eco-shrimp became the first Black tiger shrimp to be certified as an organic product by Naturland.
Establishment of ATINA (Pt. Alter Trade Indonesia), a local corporation
In June 2003, the 10th anniversary of the ATJ Eco-shrimp trade, a local corporation called PT. ATINA, 100% owned by ATJ in Surabaya, was established. The company aims to strengthen the structure of the shrimp trade in Siadoarjo, conduct various activities at production areas, and promote organic certification. Organic certification of shrimp also contributes to protecting the environment in shrimp production areas. Closer relationships with shrimp producers are being built, and ATJ actively supports local activities.