JAKARTA, NNC - The Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture has suspended the imports of rock melons or cantaloupes from Australia to Indonesia. The ban was issued through Minister of Agriculture Decision Number 207/Kpts/KR.040/3/2018.
The decision to ban imported melons is due to the extraordinary occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria contamination in Australia--which to date has resulted in four deaths, and the Letter of Agriculture Counselor of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta on March 3, 2018.
"The Minister of Agriculture gives special attention to this case, and is very concerned in preventing this incident to occur in Indonesia so he responds with the Minister of Agriculture's decision", explained Banun Harpini, Head of Agriculture Quarantine Agency in a written statement on Thursday (03/07), as reported by kontan.co.id.
There are several factors that have become the main points in this decision, among others, the closing on import of cantaloupes originating from Australia into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
Second, the ban is applied to rock melon (cantaloupe) sent from Australia since March 3, 2018.
Thirdly, the delivery of such melons as stated above is done directly or transit in other countries as evidenced by Bill of Lading (B/L) or Airway Bill (AWB) and Cargo Manifest.
Fourth, the import of rock melon (cantaloupe) into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia sent from the State of Australia since March 3rd, 2018, is an act of rejection and/or destruction.
Then, the act of rejection and/or destruction as intended in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations in the field of Plant Quarantine.
Banun added, thus type ofmelon fruit from Australia has never been imported to Indonesia. Based on data of agricultural quarantine information, the system has never recorded any import of this type of fruit either in 2017 to 2018, so the Ministry appealed to the public to remain calm.
"Melon fruits circulating in markets today are pure local fruits from Indonesian farmers, and the Ministry ensures the fruits are healthy and safe for people to consume", said Banun Harpini.
He also said, quarantine officers will conduct rejection and destruction on the spot if the Australian melon rock are found in Indonesia entering through neighboring Singapore and Malaysia.
Banun expects cooperation and participation of the community to share information and not bring the fruit into the territory of Indonesia, whether in the form of whole fruits or fruit pieces.