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In vino veritas: Bali governor issues new decree to promote traditional liquor

The Jakarta Post Thu, February 6, 2020

Arak Bali (L) and Brem (R), Balinese traditional liquors, are produced by Bali Dewi Sri. The products have long been sold in Bali and other countries. Bali Governor Wayan Koster plans to make the liquors legally regulated products. (Handout/Dewi Sri)

BALI, Indonesia – Bali Governor Wayan Koster has issued a gubernatorial decree regulating the province’s traditional liquors in a bid to preserve and promote the drinks in the region.

Wayan said that the decree on traditional Balinese fermented and distilled drinks, ratified on Jan 29, would promote local liquors such as arak, tuak – both distilled from coconut palm flowers – and brem, a traditional rice wine, as part of the region’s many unique cultural traits.

“I also hope that with this regulation, traditional Balinese fermented drinks can be part of our new economic power based on local people and local wisdom,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Koster said the new regulation would require Balinese traditional liquor producers to hold licenses and pass food safety tests from the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to ensure that they met quality and hygiene standards.

“This way, our traditional drinks can be served in hotels, sold at airports and served during dinner receptions at the governor’s official residence,” he said.

He also encouraged the provincial research and innovation agency to safeguard farmers’ intellectual rights over the products. He added that he had also suggested to the Customs and Excise Office that the drinks receive tax incentives and even be excluded from export fees to support the industry’s development.

Koster added that the new regulation could act as a “way out” from the government’s negative investment list that bars foreign investment in alcoholic drink manufacturing as it would regulate the promotion, branding and funding for the liquors’ production.

Besides promoting and preserving the local drinks, the regulation also details the administrative sanctions for producers and sellers who violate its provisions.

“We prohibit selling to underage children,” Koster said, adding that the administration also banned liquor sales among street vendors, on camping sites, around worship sites, schools, government offices and hospitals. (ris)

From: THE JAKARTA POST (INDONESIA) Thu, February 6, 2020

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