Food Systems Transformation: What’s in the Policy Toolbox?


Food Systems Transformation: What’s in the Policy Toolbox?


Policies have been described as the ‘control knobs’ that can be adjusted to achieve system change. Understanding which policies do, or could, influence food systems is therefore an important part of catalysing transformation.

But information about food systems policy levers tends to be fragmented across different policy sectors or disciplines, with no overarching picture of the available options and their relationships to one another.

This research, published in October 2021, generated a map of policy levers organised by food supply chain segment and developed a taxonomy of broad types of policy lever. Because of the importance of considering the overall coherence of the policy approach to food systems, the project also explored the relationship between different policy levers.

The findings begin to document in one place what we know about how these different food systems policy levers impact on one another, or ‘interact’, and where particular mixes, or ‘policy packages’ of levers are being used in combination.


October 2021


Kelly Parsons and David Barling