Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police Headquarters (Mabes Polri) issued a firm warning against soybean importers that has contributed to the recent scarcity of tofu and tempe. Police also threatened to process those meddling with prices and hoarders.
"Polri will respond to the soybean scarcity in the market, especially on importers. If it is found that there were criminal acts that caused it, the food task force will enforce the law," said Mabes Polri spokesperson Insp. Gen. Argo Yuwono in a written statement on January 6.
The police inspected a number of soybean import warehouses on January 5 that are responsible to distribute them to tofu and tempe industries and SMEs in the Jakarta Greater Area (Jabodetabek) and Bandung in West Java.
Police also found that prices had grown significantly from the source country where the soybeans are imported from, mainly from the United States. Other issues that caused the scarcity includes the shipping delays due to the absence of direct shipping from the soybean producers to Indonesia.
As 2021 arrived, the prices of soybeans had exponentially increased and made domestic tofu and tempe producers go on a three-day strike, which eventually contributed to the scarcity of the staple foods.