USSEC’s Partnerships with Soy Industry Leaders and U.S. Stakeholders Have Enabled Great Success with Rumah Tempe
The formation of the Indonesia Tempe Forum (ITF) and the idea of a model Tempe Production Centre, proposed by USSEC SE Asia in 2007, sowed the seeds of success that are now reflected in the nationally recognized House of Tempe, also known as Rumah Tempe, in Bogor, Indonesia.
Coordinated by ITF with support from USSEC, the project came to fruition in 2010 through a coalition of partners including a local soy trading company (FKS), Bogor KOPTI, and an NGO (Mercy Corp.), among others. Further support from state soybean boards in Minnesota and North Dakota have enabled Rumah Tempe to become the first hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) certified tempe production center in the country in 2013. Rumah Tempe not only produces tempe, but also serves as a training and promotion center for other tempe producers in the country wishing to learn and upgrade their products. Through the many ITF programs increasing the awareness and promotion of the benefits of soy and tempe consumption to target audiences, tempe has recently gained the status of a Codex Standards and is in the process of application to be recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Indonesia by UNESCO. There are now several similar centers on the island of Java modeled after Rumah Tempe that serve local tempe producers.
Tempe is a unique fermented soy product consumed throughout Indonesia, especially among the Javanese. Between 1.5 to 2 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. soybeans are imported into Indonesia annually for tempe production and consumption, and the U.S. has over a 90 percent market share of total soybean import. A highly nutritional fermented soy product, tempe is the major protein source for a large portion of Indonesia’s 250 million people on a daily basis. USSEC will continue to service and grow this important global market to maintain its position as the number one importer of U.S. Soy for food uses.