The food and beverage industry in Central Java is ranked first in terms of economic growth, reaching more than 17%. It is necessary to take concrete steps in various fields to encourage the development of the food and beverage industry, such as product innovation and collaborative resource preparation.
The pattern of change in the food and beverage industry in Central Java can be seen in developments toward strengthening local resources. It has been proven that 6 out of 18 companies in Central Java have received the title of a sustainable industry. This pattern reflects that this national company emphasizes aspects of national food needs by using resources wisely.
Seeing the prospects for the food industry in Central Java which stands out in strengthening local resources, the middle-class industry in Central Java is no less critical in regional industrial development. It has been proven that many industries have been around for a long time, in Semarang, Solo, and Pati. For example, the Ikan Lele soy sauce industry, located in Juwana Pati, is a solid local industry that can dominate the local market in Central Java. Seeing this development, the Food Technology study program, Faculty of Animal and Agricultural Sciences, Diponegoro University, adopted a policy to establish educational and service collaborations related to efforts to direct learning patterns in tertiary institutions toward the national industrial world and regional industries. For this reason, the team of lecturers from the Food Technology Study Program initiated cooperation in education and service at the Ikan Lele Soy Sauce Company to establish this industrial cooperation.
This soy sauce company in Central Java, located on Jalan Juwana-Pati kilometer 3, Sarirejo, has a unique advantage, namely being able to excel in the Central Java market and having particular consumers because of its specific products. With this uniqueness, the team of lecturers from the Food Technology Study Program FPP Undip planned cooperation in education through industrial internships for students and the development of innovation to optimize soybean resources and solve production problems.
Ikan Lele soy sauce was founded by Go Tjwan Hok or Pranoto in 1954. The people around Pati are very familiar with this soy sauce, and their consumers have remained loyal. This uniqueness, which is simultaneously an advantage, needs to be further developed. The Food Technology Study Program succeeded in holding a constructive audience on Friday (15/7) in the context of building cooperation in education and community service.
Development in the field of education
The owners of the Ikan Lele soy sauce company, Gunawan and Budi Santoso, explained that the company continuously innovates to expand its products regarding distribution area and product variety. Mainly to meet market demand, the combination of products must be considered. Responding to this opportunity, Dr. Antonius Hintono, the team leader and an Undip post-harvest expert, discussed the design trend for soybean post-harvest processing that has developed recently. An expert on fermented soybeans, Bhakti Etza Setiani, MSc also shared opportunities to develop soy sauce products and optimize the fermentation process.
Product innovation development
To continue increasing production turnover while maintaining the existing market, companies must innovate in facing competition. Not only that, the problem of production factors that have emerged recently, such as the scarcity of soybeans and changing seasons, also significantly affect the quality and quantity of yields. Not to mention the added environmental issues that must maintain the production process to produce clean. On this occasion, participating in the Undip team, Dr. Ahmad Ni’matullah Al-Baarri, as the head of the study program, also had the opportunity to provide information on clean production opportunities so that he could become an example for society, especially students, about sustainable companies.