Promoting Food Security Through Free Trade Ideas, A Congratulations to the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies  

UPDATE: On November 12, 2020, the Center For Indonesian Policy Studies won the 2020 Templeton Freedom Award from ATLAS Network. 

Property Rights Alliance congratulates the Center For Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) on becoming a finalist in the final round for the Templeton Freedom Award, a prestigious honor complementing the work CIPS has done through their Affordable Food for the Poor Initiative, making nutritious food available and affordable throughout Indonesia. With many barriers and import restrictions affecting food in Indonesia, CIPS has worked relentlessly, against popular opinion, to promote open markets and food security throughout Indonesia.

With Indonesia having a history of practicing harmful food self-sufficiency policies, through the imposition of many trade barriers, monopolies, and price-fixing, Indonesia’s low-income population has suffered, as there has been a rise in food insecurity across the nation’s poorest areas, due to these protectionist policies.

With millions of poor Indonesians susceptible to food price increases, there has been widespread undernourishment among low-income populations in Indonesia that has led to a decreased level of production and has slowed economic growth. With trade barriers causing overpriced food, the affordable access of nutritious food products to millions of Indonesians, such as meat, eggs, and fresh produce, has been limited and many Indonesians have been forced to buy cheaper, unhealthier options for basic meals.

Property Rights Alliance has featured the work of CIPS in a case study in the Trade Barrier Index highlighting the health and price effects of Indonesia’s trade restrictions on rice. With high prices becoming direct costs of barriers to trade, these restrictions directly reduce food availability and affordability in Indonesia. With Indonesia still holding a nationalist view of the economy, reducing trade barriers is an intimidating effort in Indonesia, but one CIPS has been dedicated to fighting against.

Through the work of CIPS’s Affordable Food for the Poor Initiative and Hak MakMur Campaign, the organization has called for the termination of the protectionist agenda of the Indonesian government such as trade barriers and food self-sufficiency policies that have left millions of Indonesians malnourished and vulnerable to food price increases. CIPS has fought tirelessly to push liberal trade ideas and for the opening of Indonesia’s markets and the adoption of free trade principles that will allow market reform and economic growth.

CIPS founder and executive director Rainer Heufers said that “there could not be a stronger international endorsement of our work than being named a finalist of the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award.” Through their tireless work on the issue of food security in Indonesia, CIPS has prioritized impoverished Indonesians and has been their voice to fair policies that will help them gain access to more nutritious food at lower costs.

Since 2004, Atlas Network’s Templeton Freedom Award, named after philanthropist Sir John Templeton, has been awarded to Atlas Network’s partner organizations for “exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise and the advancement of public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation, and human fulfillment.” Other finalists for the 2020 award include The Centre for Public Policy Research (Kochi, India), The Fraser Institute (Vancouver, Canada), IDEAS Labs (Costa Rica), The Mercatus Center, and The Property and Environment Research Center.

Property Rights Alliance looks forward to working more with CIPS and promoting free trade and free-market principals in Indonesia in the future.

Photo Credit: iqbalnuril