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Delivering jamu by bike: the big challenge

Just over a year ago, we began our Good Jamu journey in the Netherlands. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and it’s so uplifting to see how many people want to add an ancient elixir based on a traditional Indonesian wellbeing practice to their daily ritual.


When you start a business, you want to do everything right and make the biggest impact. Why else would you set up a business? Good Jamu is 100% plant-based, so it was only natural for us to put sustainability high on our agenda. Initially, we came up with the idea of using glass bottles and setting up a deposit system – meaning customers could return their glass bottles to us to be reused – as one way for us to meet our goal of operating sustainably.


When Good Jamu became a business, we were in the midst of summertime and delivering the orders ourselves by bicycle seemed like it would work pretty well. A cute thought, because soon several orders came in from all over the country! Although this was good news, we immediately started looking for a logistics partner to help us out. Only, every company we contacted told us we weren’t big enough to deliver through them and that they couldn’t bring our empty bottles back to us. We decided to buy a small car and deliver all orders ourselves. In one year, we drove around 70,000km! We visited places we’d never heard of and even got the chance to meet many of our customers.


We learnt so much managing the deliveries. For example, we learnt that the deposit system was a good idea on paper, but unfortunately in reality it just wasn’t sustainable due to the amount of km we racked up. As a result, we decided the smartest thing to do with our commitment to sustainability in mind was to end the deposit system. The Good Jamu community responded positively to this change, and we continue to introduce jamu to more and more people as we grow.


Then one day out of the blue, we received a message from the Fietskoerier in Deventer telling us they could deliver for us! This was great news because it was going to save us so much time, km and emissions. It meant that we could leave all the logistics to the experts and focus on expanding Good Jamu’s outreach and telling our story.


We started out using temporary boxes to test whether the bottles would travel well in a bicycle box, and now we finally have sturdy boxes with our own branding.


We’re so lucky to have found a reliable, sustainable partner in our bicycle courier, but there’s still so much work to do. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our service, products and partnerships – when it comes to running a business, there’s always room for improvement.

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