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National Food Policies/Strategies

Several countries  - including Scotland, Finland, Sweden - have developed a national-level cross-cutting food policy/strategy/plan. In England, a National Food Strategy for England Independent Review was published in 2021 and the Government is due to publish its own White Paper response in May 2022. 

You can read a briefing paper on the National Food Strategy Independent Review here:

Policy and Governance Questions about the National Food Strategy »


It is not always clear what impact these kind of framework policies have, as they are rarely evaluated, or subject to follow-up reporting on progress. The UK went through a process of developing a national food strategy from 2007-2010, in an attempt to bring all of the relevant parts of food-related policy together under an overarching framework. Australia undertook a similar exercise between 2010-2013, resulting in a 'National Food Plan'. Both the UK and Australian attempts ultimately failed when a change in government, and political party, resulted in the integrated food strategies being abandoned.

Northern Ireland is also developing an integrated food strategy. I was invited present my work on food systems and policy integration at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs' two-day integrated food strategy workshop. The 'strategic insights lab' workshop was attended by stakeholders from a range of national government departments, plus private sector and civil society stakeholders, and academics. The aim: to set the strategic direction for a future food policy framework. The workshop highlighted several questions which need to be considered as part of the project. The question deemed most important by participants, following a 'dot-voting' exercise, was 'How can we build structures (including resources) that are needed to facilitate a cohesive/joined-up/holistic food policy?'. 

Full report of the workshop ».

DAERA foresight workshop dot voting.jfif
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