Who Makes Food Policy?

Evidence on how policymaking related to food systems is organised is poor. Most countries do not audit, or clearly outline, their relevant policies. This presents a barrier to more holistic working, and addressing policy coherence, because it is not clear what the range of objectives and activities are. I consider a baseline map of food systems-relevant policies as a pre-requisite for making change to that system. 

 

I have conducted the first detailed overview of the government’s involvement in, and responsibility for, food policy in England. The below report identifies the key departments (ministries), roles and public bodies; describes their size and structure; sets out their goals and responsibilities; and describes their key activities in relation to food.

 

The mapping illustrates that in England, responsibility for policy-making that affects the food system is fragmented, and involves 16 key government departments and public bodies. This is important because it identifies how the departments influencing the food system (for example departments responsible for directing food sector innovation, or setting planning rules around hot-food takeaways) may not be those traditionally associated with 'food policy'. 

This blog explains the background and method used for the mapping.