The Group believes that its business benefits from the following competitive strengths which have contributed to its position as one of Indonesia's major vertically-integrated agribusiness groups:
The Group owns approximately 295,000 hectares of planted crops. Of which 83% or 245,000 hectares are oil palm estates. Our oil palm plantations are strategically located in close proximity to each other and to our processing mills, near deep draft port facilities, and in largely contiguous land, which contribute to more efficient management, and lower transportation and other costs. Substantially all of our plantations are located on flat or mildly undulating terrain, which also reduces our planting, maintenance and harvesting costs.
The Group is a vertically integrated agribusiness with operations spanning the entire supply chain from research and development, seed breeding, oil palm cultivation and milling of palm oil to production and marketing of branded cooking oil, margarine and shortening. We believe our high degree of vertical integration and the large scale of our operations provide us with synergies and competitive benefits in the form of cost efficiencies and stronger relative bargaining positions. Our oil palm plantations supply the bulk of internal CPO requirements to our downstream edible oils and fats division and reduce our exposure to third party purchases of CPO.
We have 27 palm oil mills across our estates, with a total annual capacity of 7.2 million tonnes of FFB per year. We are increasingly investing in our own supply chain, including bulking stations, tugboats and barges, fleet of trucks and road tankers to ensure an efficient supply chain of CPO.
We also own and operate integrated refining and fractionation facilities strategically located in major Indonesian cities (i.e. Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Bitung). The Group has a total annual processing capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of CPO. By owning much of our production chain, we are able to achieve greater coordination and efficiency in terms of planning, logistics, production and merchandising.
We have built strong brands over decades of operations in Indonesia and our deep appreciation and intimate understanding of the Indonesian consumer market, including consumer tastes, spending and other preferences, has allowed us to foster loyalty from our customers in our brands. We believe that the trust and loyalty that we have developed in our brands provide us with a competitive advantage in maintaining a large customer base and the selling price of our products. Furthermore, our strong reputation facilitates our ability to develop and market new products or extensions of existing products as we believe customers are more likely to rely on a trusted brand when experimenting with new products. In addition, our well-developed brands and reputation allow us to avoid excessive advertising costs, as our products and brand names already are well-known in the market, and allow us to negotiate favorable terms with distributors given the popularity of our products.
We distribute our branded products throughout the Indonesian archipelago through the distribution channels of our parent company, as well as third-party distributors. In addition, our products are exported to countries including Asia, Africa, Middle East and Australia. We continue to maintain and grow our relationships with third-party distributors in order to gain wider distribution for our products. We also leverage on the Indofood's stock points throughout Indonesia for the distribution of products. Each stock point is generally located in areas with a high density of retail outlets and/or near traditional markets serving the retail outlets. We believe that the large number of stock points and their proximity to demand centers provides us with a significant competitive advantage, allowing faster and more frequent deliveries than our competitors, which enhances product availability and freshness. The stock point system also allows us to limit our distribution and transportation costs.
We believe that our R&D efforts will assist us to achieve high production yields and cost efficiencies. For example, we have developed high yielding oil palm seeds through our research efforts. Our dedicated R&D team carries out research focused on breeding of seedlings to improve FFB yield. We believe that we will be able to continue to leverage our strong and historically successful R&D and seed breeding programs to improve production costs and environmental sustainability and to maximize profit in the long run.
Our experienced management, marketing and technical team has demonstrated the ability to successfully build and integrate our various operating activities through their years of experience, as shown by their successful track record in managing our business. In particular, our management, marketing and technical team has led the process through which we have developed a complementary mix of products, built brand recognition and loyalty, managed price volatilities and identified new business opportunities, including locating suitable sites for the cultivation of oil palms and the establishment of refineries and processing plants. Our senior management team possesses extensive industry experience in Indonesia, with an average of more than 15 years of experience in agribusiness. Under the guidance of our senior management, we have expanded our business over the years, including by entering the sugar business, and our total planted area has increased from approximately 61,000 hectares in 2005 to approximately 295,000 hectares.
The Division will continue with its focus on cost control improvements, pursuing innovations that elevate plantation productivity, and prioritising capital investments on growth areas. We aim to broaden our mechanisation strategy, conduct further research on available and feasible mechanisation tools, and implement solutions that are proven to be effective. We will also continue to drive greater efficiency through digitalisation and streamlining of work processes.
The replanting programmes planned for the Riau and North Sumatra estates will continue, with crop management activities focused on raising FFB yields. For the sugar cane plantations in South Sumatra, our goal is to leverage higher-yielding seed cane varieties as well as improved fertiliser and agronomic management techniques.
With the growing demand for consumer EOF products, driven by the increasing middle class in Indonesia, we will continue to increase our production capacity to capture new opportunities and strengthen market share. We will also leverage our competitive pricing strategy to entrench Bimoli's market leadership.
These efforts will be supplemented with a thematic marketing campaigns, direct sales in the modern trade and promotions in the general trade. We will continue to rejuvenate the formats and packaging designs of our cooking oils to cater to evolving consumer needs. The current distribution system will be complemented by various digital and e-commerce platforms to increase market reach and penetration.
We will focus on developing new products at different price points, improving customer service, enhancing product labelling and packaging, and increasing efficiency through process automation. The global supply chain and distribution networks will be expanded to extend our market reach both domestically and internationally.