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Integrating environmental sustainability considerations into food and nutrition policies : insights from Australia's national food plan

Ridgway, Ella Megan, Lawrence, Mark Andrew and Woods, Julie 2015, Integrating environmental sustainability considerations into food and nutrition policies : insights from Australia's national food plan, Frontiers in nutrition, vol. 2, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.3389/fnut.2015.00029.

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Title Integrating environmental sustainability considerations into food and nutrition policies : insights from Australia's national food plan
Author(s) Ridgway, Ella Megan
Lawrence, Mark AndrewORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark Andrew orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-3983
Woods, Julie
Journal name Frontiers in nutrition
Volume number 2
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Frontiers Media
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2015-09-17
ISSN 2296-861X
Keyword(s) environmental sustainability
national food and nutrition policy
policy-making
public consultation
stakeholder interests
Summary The environmental sustainability (ES) of food systems is a critical challenge for policy makers. This is a highly contested policy area with differing views among stakeholders. The aim of the study was to develop a better understanding of how ES considerations are addressed in Australian food and nutrition policies and the way that consultation processes affect final policy outcomes. A mixed-methods study design combined a detailed chronology of key policy developments (2009-2015), a content analysis of written submissions obtained during the NFP's consultation period (2011-2013) and a frame analysis of the sustainability perspectives - efficiency, demand restraint, and system transformation - in the NFP's Issues, Green, and White Papers. There were 555 written submissions responding to two consultation papers. Stakeholders represented all sectors of Australia's food system including government, non-government organizations, the food supply chain, research and academic institutions, and members of the general public. Around 74% of submissions referred to ES considerations and ~65% supported their inclusion into the final policy. Efficiency frames were most dominant; emphasizing a production-oriented approach that regards the environment as a natural resource base for food production but overlooks consumption and equity concerns. Despite strong support for the inclusion of ES considerations in the NFP, the influence of Australia's socio-political context, powerful, industry-dominated stakeholders, and a reliance on traditional production-oriented perspectives delivered a business-as-usual approach to food policy making. It has since been replaced by an agricultural strategy that provides only cursory attention to ES. Our findings indicate that Australia's political environment is not sufficiently mature for ES considerations to be integrated into food and nutrition policies. We propose reforms to the current consultation process in Australia to better support this integration by promoting greater transparency and participation in the development of food and nutrition policy making.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fnut.2015.00029
Field of Research 160508 Health Policy
Socio Economic Objective 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079365

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.