8 June 2021 - The delicious aroma of spices wafted up from Indonesian Chicken Gulai and Aceh-style Lamb Soup are filling the kitchen and dining areas of Nusa Indonesian Gastronomy Restaurant in South Jakarta. We sneaked into the restaurant, through a virtual setup, to see what's cooking and there we found our show hosts Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo and Santhi Serad accompanying the Director General of Intellectual Property, Dr Freddy Harris, S.H., LL.M., A.C.C.S, in preparing the special Indonesian dishes.
What is so special? Chef Ragil and Ms Serad walk us through the recipes and each one of the ingredients used to jazz up the traditional dishes. Spices include Moloku Kie Raha Cloves, Koerintji Cinnamon, Siau Nutmeg, East Luwu Pepper, and Krayan Mountain Salt. These dishes are served with Adan Krayan Rice. The part that makes the dishes so special is the fact that these agricultural products are all certified with Geographical Indications (GI).
Geographical Indication (GI) is a distinctive sign used to identify a product whose taste, quality, aesthetic, reputation, or other such characteristics relate to its geographical origin. Each product has a reputation built upon the characteristics and uniqueness to which the natural conditions and traditions from their specific origin played a big part, thus its Intellectual Property Rights is protected.
Earlier in the afternoon upon the arrival of the special guest, they enjoyed a gourmet Klepon, a courtesy of Nusa, which is filled with Kulonprogo Jogja Coconut Sugar over Java Preanger Tea and Gayo Arabica Coffee.
The special occasion marks the 4th episode of the "Cooking GI Ambassador" culinary show produced by ARISE+ Indonesia was initiated to promote GI-certified Indonesian agricultural products and showcase their usage in cooking. ARISE+ Indonesia is a trade support facility funded by the European Union to improve Indonesia's international trade competitiveness.
Attending the show as the special guest, Dr Freddy Harris commented, "I support this show as it is a powerful media to promote the extraordinary Indonesian GI-certified products, including spices."
He added that despite the abundance of Indonesian natural resources for industry potential, not many people know about GI, the protection of such intellectual property rights, its application and its benefits for both the legitimate producers and end customers. For example, authentic Krayan Mountain Salt that originates from Krayan Mountain in North Kalimantan have to meet the production standard and requirement as predefined by its Description Document. Only these salts can be sold using the registered GI name "Krayan Mountain Salt".
Dr Freddy went on to explain that GI products are not limited to agricultural products but also includes industry and handicraft products. For example, Mebel Ukir Jepara (Jepara Carved Furniture), Tenun Ikat Sikka (Sikka Ikat Weaving) and Celuk Silveware from Bali, to name a few.
In fact, as of June 2021, 100 GI products have been registered in Indonesia. Ninety-one are of Indonesian origin and the remaining are international GIs registered in Indonesia.
Did you know? Among the 91 Indonesian GIs; 35 are Single Origin Coffees, 1 tea, 25 specialty spices and seasoning products including herbs, rice, sugar and salts, and 12 kinds of fruits and vegetables, among many others.
The protection of Geographical Indications will bring countless advantages for the legitimate GI producers, consumers, and the economy of the region. It helps the economic growth of the local community, boost domestic trade and exports, and increase tourism. The local wisdom of the Krayan community in producing the Krayan Mountain Salt, for example, could attract tourism that will bring revenue to the region.
Ms Serad added during the conversation that GI provides product value-added, prompting the consumers to pay a premium price for origin-guaranteed products.
For that reason, the Directorate General of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights tirelessly promotes GI protection to regions throughout Indonesia. "Imagine the income that could be generated from the local GI products to the region," Dr Freddy said.
He added that applying for GI registration is now easy. The DGIP website provides complete information on the procedure and requirements.
Now back to the Indonesian Chicken Gulai and Aceh-style Lamb Soup, we come to the moment of truth. Drum rolls... Tasting the special dishes prepared with GI-certified products.
Chef Ragil ladles out the soup and hands them over to Dr Freddy and Ms Santhi, the aroma of the spices can be immediately enjoyed. Dr Freddy takes the time to relish the aroma and he carefully sips the soup to appreciate the taste of each one of the spices.
"The lamb soup tastes so rich and delicious. I can taste the individual spices, yet at the same time they blend perfectly. The Krayan Mountain Salt taste is also very distinct. This is my first time tasting the Krayan Mountain Salt," Dr Freddy said with full of admiration for the cuisine.
Chef Ragil commented that using GI protected spices and ingredients in cooking is actually benefitting the consumers. He said, "GI Certification can provide the guarantee to consumers that the product is of premium quality."
"Now, let's support the promotion and protection of the Geographical Indication products to support the local economy and let us see more Indonesian products obtaining GI certification," closed Ms Serad.