Indonesia and Asia's demand for flour products continues to grow, so it is only fitting that one of the biggest flour mills in the world is on the shores of Jakarta.
Bogasari is mammoth in size, it is highly automated yet still employs about 2500 staff over four factories and has more than 1100 stock points across Indonesia alone.
Along with its flour mills in Surabaya, Bogasari also has its own ports - with about 204,000 tonnes of storage.
It also has about 400,000t of holding capacity for wheat that the mill produces.
The storing capacity gives the company immense buying power.
Bogasari owns 14 sea vessels, six of which are Panamax vessels, and has between six and seven vessels entering the Surabaya port each month.
Wheat flour is also transported by 20 foot trucks.
The 33 hectare mill produces about 12,000t of wheat flour per day, yet is only operating at 70pc capacity.
Bogasari Flour Mills director Franky Welirang expects the company to expand about 3pc per year to keep up with growing demand.
Indonesia's wheat flour consumption in 2022 equaled about 6.7 million metric tonnes (which is equivalent to 8.5mmt of wheat grain).
The country has 30 flour mills, with a total capacity of 14.4mt, but due to a highly competitive market, it is only running at 70 per cent capacity.
Indonesia reduced imports from Australia in 2018-2020 because of drought conditions.
However, it imported a lot more compared to the rest of the world in 2021 and 2022 when Australia had record production years.
The wheat flour industry is experiencing strong growth in Indonesia, with the export market valued at about $1.48 billion USD in 2022, a 23.9pc growth year-on-year.
For the first half of 2023, the Indonesian wheat flour market had already exported $927 million USD, a growth of 18.5pc.
About 29pc of Indonesian flour is purchased by big and modern industry factories with high-tech machinery, while the rest is used by household and small medium enterprises (SME).
Mr Welirang said the highest cost for SMEs was purchasing wheat, which accounted for about 82 pc of costs.
He aid many businesses thought a 10pc increase in flour cost would equal a 10pc increase in price for the product.
"They often don't know how expensive wheat inputs are for their business," Mr Welirang said.
"The smaller businesses don't know much about costing, so it is our job to educate them."
Bogasari ran educational courses for small businesses to help them with their costing and to ensure they were pricing their products in the right cost bracket.
On display in the Bogasari factory were containers of wheat from all around the world.
Australia's wheat was noticeably a lot lighter than its competitors, possibly an indicator of lower protein.
Low protein wheat is sold for the lowest price in the Indonesian market, so it is popular for small businesses and accounts for about 50pc of the market.
Bogasari needs higher protein wheat for flour used in frying.
"Australia needs to grow higher protein if they want to continue to be in the market," Mr Welirang said.
Australia is one of the only countries that Indonesia has consistently purchased wheat from over the past two decades out of 27 countries.
"Our first choice is Australia as the shipping time is only five days from Western Australia," he said.
"That is an advantage for us for the freight cost, otherwise it's between 21 to 28 days from Argentina."
Bogasari imports soft wheat mainly from Canada and the USA, which is combined with Australian wheat to make biscuits and wafers (which China is the main consumer of).
Recently, the Indonesian Government has been asking flour mills to explore alternatives for wheat because of the high price.
Bogasari deputy director Erwin Sudharma said the company had begun experimenting with sorghum as a substitute, however they found it wasn't as cost-effective.
The company has also joined forces with a Jakarta university to try and grow wheat on Indonesian farms.
"Neither of these options have been cost effective," Mr Sudharma said.
"Wheat flour is still cheaper than alternatives this year."
Smaller businesses also look to mix wheat with lower grades to help with high production costs.
Founded in 1971, Bogasari has seen the industry slowly change as a new generation begins to take over family businesses.
About 50pc of Indonesia's population is under the age of 35, which Mr Welirang said were much more progressive.
"Trade with customers is now becoming digital and payment for services is electronic," he said.
The younger generation are more progressive and experimental with their taste, so they are beginning to demand more flour within the household for new styles of cooking.
It is evident that Indonesia is shifting towards a more developed and rich country, as consumers are also demanding healthier foods with traceability.
The younger generation, along with the Indonesian Government, are also expecting companies to be more sustainable.
In response, Bogasari have started using biodegradable paper for their 25kg bags and have a one megawatt roof solar system.
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