Integrated food policy: What is it, and how can it help transform food systems?

Kelly Parsons
Centre for Food Policy, City University London
Resource type:
Peer review

Integrated food policy: What is it, and how can it help transform food systems?  is the third brief in the Rethinking Food Policy: A Fresh Approach to Policy and Practice series from the Centre for Food Policy at City University London. It puts forward an approach to policy making that can help join up four areas that tend to lead to result in siloed policy and action: policy areas; policy levels; goals; parts of the supply chain.

The authors define integrated food policy as "the joining up of goals and policies related to food systems – horizontally across governments, vertically between government levels, or between inside and outside government actors – to better align these efforts, reduce incoherence between them, and tackle food systems challenges more effectively." Through this integrated policy approach, the authors argue that six longstanding disconnects can be overcome: 

  • Irrationalities in food systems
  • Disconnects between government ministries
  • Disconnects between levels of government
  • Disconnects within ministries
  • Disconnects between government and private sector/civil society
  • Missed opportunities for policy synergies

The report concludes with five recommendations to help stimulate more effective and integrated policy:

  1. Be clear about what is in scope
  2. Acknowledge tough choices
  3. Build in mechanisms to protect against political fragility
  4. Redesign governance architecture to support holistic food policy
  5. Understand what levers are accessible
This resource has been peer reviewed