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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

US and Canada

UK and Ireland

Australia (National network: Sustain: The Australian Food Network)

  • Victoria: discussed in Caraher, M., Carey, R., McConell, K. and Lawrence, M., 2013. Food policy development in the Australian state of Victoria: A case study of the Food Alliance. International Planning Studies, 18(1), pp.78-95

Austria

  • Vienna (in formation)

Belgium

France (National network Terres en villes, which works primarily on urban and peri-urban agriculture policies)

  • Bordeaux: Conseil consultatif de gouvernance alimentaire. Contact: Anna Faucher

Germany (BioStädte Netzwerk)

  • Berlin (2015/2016). Contact: Christine Pohl
  • Köln/Cologne (2016). Contact: Anna Wissmann
  • Frankfurt (2017)
  • Dresden (2017)
  • Oldenburg (2017)
  • In varies stages of formation:
    • Hanover
    • Hamburg
    • Region Fünfseenland
    • Düsseldorf
    • Leipzig
    • Freiburg
    • Singen
    • Nuremberg
    • Essen
    • Bielefeld
    • Waldkirch
    • Munich
    • Ruhr area        
    • Ludwigsburg 
    • Kassel
    • Constance
    • Bonn
    • Leutkirch
    • Stuttgart

Hungary

  • Gödöllő Local Food Council (2012?): discussed in Balázs, B., 2012. Local food system development in Hungary. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 19(3), pp.403-421

Netherlands (national network of cities who have signed “Food on the Urban Agenda” City Deal)

Scandinavia

  • EAT Nordic Cities Initiative: Launched in June 2016 at Stockholm Food Forum

Spain (national network: Red de ciudades por la agroecologia)

  • Valencia (in formation)
  • Vitoria

Switzerland

  • Zurich (in formation)

New Zealand     

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