Responsibility for food policy within English government involves 16 different departments. In the first study of its kind, Dr Kelly Parsons identifies each department, locating where government food policy is shaped and conducted in England. It clearly demonstrates the complexity of governance influencing the food system and what we eat.
Produced as the first instalment of the ‘Rethinking Food Governance’ series, the report reveals many factors, such as size, structure, goals, responsibilities, key activities, relationships to Local Authorities and devolved administrations for each government actor. Revealing this information helps all actors in the food system to interact, or spot opportunities and levers for policy change.
In October 2020, we collaborated with the Centre for Food Policy (CFP) and colleagues in the SHEFS project (a global public health initiative on which CFP leads the Policy workstream) to produce a series of Policy Briefs which summarise and update the Who Makes Food Policy? framework. They show how responsibility for food governance is distributed across many departments and public bodies, not just in England but in other countries as well. We hope that other researchers will produce similar policy ‘maps’ for their regions or for different levels of governance: contact us if you’d like to know more about how we did it. The South Africa Policy Brief is available [here] and the India version will follow soon.