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Food Policy Levers

Source: Parsons and Barling 2021

Source: Parsons and Barling 2021

Policies have been described as the ‘control knobs’ that can be adjusted to achieve system change. Understanding which policies do, or could, influence food systems is therefore an important part of catalysing transformation.


But information about food systems policy levers tends to be fragmented across different policy sectors or disciplines, with no overarching picture of the available options and their relationships to one another.


The UKRI Transforming UK Food Systems Programme commissioned a research project from myself and Professor David Barling, University of Hertfordshire, to map and explore the ‘policy levers’ for food systems transformation.


The main two outputs of the project were...


1. A map of policy levers organised by food supply chain segment:















2. A taxonomy of broad types of policy lever:















Because of the importance of considering the overall coherence of the policy approach to food systems, the project also explored the relationship between different policy levers. The findings begin to document in one place what we know about how these different food systems policy levers impact on one another, or ‘interact’. Some examples of interactions can be found in this table from the report:











You can read the full policy levers for food systems transformation report here:

Food Systems Transformation: What's in the Policy Toolbox? » 


And a short summary version of it here:

Summary: Food Systems Policy Toolbox »

Source: Parsons and Barling 2021

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