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99 Bottles of Brem on the Wall . . .

Regulations in Hand to Allow Bali to Launch Indigenous Alcoholic Beverage Industry

Bali Governor Wayan Koster has issued  Gubernatorial Decree Number 1 of 2020 addressing fermented and distilled beverages made in Bali. The regulation is intended to bring into mainstream commerce the traditional alcohol trade of Bali by establishing procedures and standards to allow them to compete internationally.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Governor Koster, speaking from his official residence on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, said: “This gubernatorial regulation was approved by the Minister of the Interior and declared the law on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Thank God, it is passed.”

Governor Koster said the new regulation allows the Provincial Government of Bali to regulate production from upstream to downstream for palm wine, wine, and Brem Bali.

Praising the change in regulations, Governor Koster said traditional Balinese alcoholic beverages can form the basis for a sector of the people’s economy that will be created in accordance with Balinese local wisdom. Prior to the change, the development of the Arak Bali industry was thwarted by its placement on the government’s negative investment list. The new regulations will allow Arak to become a safe, processed product suitable for export.

Koster recounted the long and arduous journey of obtaining government approval for the legalize production of arak, palm wine, and brem emanating from Balinese farmers. With legalization now a reality, Bali has a new beverage product to profitably sell to the world.

Continuing, the Governor defended the new rules and rejected claims that he is somehow personally involved in the alcoholic beverage industry or is helping certain beverage industry investors. Koster defended his vision of a Bali local alcohol industry, insisting it will benefit local farmers and arak producers. Adding: "Local alcoholic drinks in Bali can become more advanced and developed so they can compete with alcoholic beverage products from other countries, such as sake or soju," he said.

Governor Koster insists the new regulation acknowledges the role of traditional fermented and distilled beverages in Bali as a manifestation of the Island’s rich cultural diversity that demands protection, nurturing, and development to financially empower the Island’s agricultural sector. Based on traditional means of production and formulas, production methods available to small-producers will be upgraded and standardized to ensure both quality and safety.

The detailed regulation promulgated under the Governor’s instructions address safety, utilization, business partnerships for alcohol producers, promotion, branding, supervisions, community participation, administrative sanctions for non-compliance to established standards and rules, and other key areas on the production and sales stream.

Also included in the new regulations is a requirement, as an initial step, that each Regency in Bali to survey and list details of all existing tuak, brem, and arak producers.

To facilitate eventual export plans, the Governor has said he will seek the removal of any export taxes and other disincentives to help speed what Bali hopes will be a fast-growing tuak, brem and arak sector of the economy.

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