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Research on food policy groups

As food policy councils, food partnerships, coalitions, committees, boards, and other similar groups—referred to as Food Policy Groups (FPGs)—become increasingly popular mechanisms to reform the food system, there has been growing interest among students, academics, and journalists to document and study their efforts. This research may provide helpful insights to improve the internal organization and external impact of FPGs, however the increasing number of interview and survey requests made of FPGs has become burdensome. Often the research is duplicative, published in inaccessible locations, not published at all, or does not contribute results that can be used by FPGs.  As a result, many FPGs question the value of their participation in the face of time and budgetary limitations.

The Food Policy Networks (FPN) project aims to reduce the burden of over-research on FPGs by streamlining and reducing duplicative efforts. Our Census updates condense survey requests made of FPGs in the US and Canada. We share non-confidential survey results with researchers upon request. The bibliography we’ve compiled highlights existing and emerging research on FPGs. We also encourage researchers and FPGs to post their research needs and interests on our FPN listserv to more cohesively foster research that is proactive and responsive.

“The cities galloping ahead are promoted and advertised and used as case studies. Those cities get more and more phone calls and requests. It’s great, it’s good publicity. But that doesn’t get funded and adds to a workload. We have to find some way of that getting shared more evenly.”

—British food partnership leader, cited in Santo (2016)