Serving up community profits

Located in the PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk (Tjiwi Kimia), a group of food vendors, all dressed in vivid sky-blue jumpsuits, are quietly pushing matching bicycle carts and entering the grounds before scurrying off to their individual spots around the property.

Seconds later, the throngs rush out.

Vying for first choices among the lunch items and snacks offered by the Rombong Biru (“Blue Bike Sellers”) food sellers, Tjiwi Kimia’s employees swiftly swarm the carts.

This seemingly chaotic, yet ultimately well organized, scene plays out daily at the mill and is clearly popular with both employees and vendors.

“Before the Rombong Biru program, the seller used to sneak into our mill illegally to sell food to our employees,” said Inggi, a company staffer. “This was hard on the food sellers and our mill security.”

To resolve the situation, the mill provided the vendors-all residents of surrounding villages-with the distinctive blue uniforms, bicycles and blue carts, and set schedules for them to enter the grounds to sell their homemade fare.

“We also trained them on food hygiene,” Inggi said. “Now food sellers can earn a good profit in just one hour, where before this program, they had to go around for hours to make the same amount or even less.”

Mill employees are happy, too: “We prefer to get our lunch from this group on bikes because it is very convenient,” said one female employee in between bites of rice mixed with meat and vegetables. “And the prices are quite cheap.”

05.06.2017 | Laura B.
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