Skip Navigation

Food Policy Groups Around the World

Food policy groups (FPGs) are most prevalent in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom—but FPGs are active and emerging in Western Europe, Central Europe, and Australasia.

What’s in a Name?

Networks of food system stakeholders go by various names. In North America, food policy council (FPC) is the most commonly used term, but these groups are also known as food councils, food coalitions or committees, food policy task forces, food alliances or food system networks. In Europe, some are considered FPCs, but others identify as food partnerships (most prevalent in the UK), boards, or steering groups. Some groups do not use the word “policy” because they wish to avoid being perceived as political or partisan actors, whereas others focus on programs as well as policy.

While a group’s name sets its tone and framework, we consider these groups similar enough to call them food policy groups (FPGs). Food policy groups share similar overall goals to make the food system more equitable, sustainable and resilient, but vary in their organizational structure, relationships with government and funding sources. For instance, FPGs in the UK tend to focus less on changing municipal policies because local governments have less policymaking power in UK than in the US. Below is a list of FPGs we have heard about from across the Global North.

FPGs Around the World

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Canada:

France

Germany - map of German councils

Ireland

Italy

Netherlands

  • Food Council MRA (Amsterdam) - Mentioned in Fischer, C., Gritsch, B., & Köhne, A. (2019, October). Strengthening an Alpine-Mediterranean Food System in the Mountains of South Tyrol. RUAF Urban Agriculture Magazine. Retrieved from https://ruaf.org/document/urban-agriculture-magazine-no-36-food-policy-councils/

New Zealand

Scandinavia

Spain

United Kingdom

United States

Note: We recognize that there are many additional grassroots food/farm/worker movements in the Global South that function outside of the scope of FPGs as conceived in this summary, so they are not included at this time. If you would like to add your FPG and contact information to this list, please email rsanto1@jhu.edu