Civil society advocacy towards sustainable food systems policy in Victoria
AffiliationOffice for Environmental Programs
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2016 Jennifer Sheridan
The current food system is widely regarded as unsustainable, in terms of its impact on the environment and population health, and in the inequality of current access to food. A policy shift is needed to drive a transformation towards sustainable food systems. Civil society groups are key actors in driving policy change, but little is known about the strategies that these groups are using in Australia to drive change. This research investigated how civil society stakeholders in Victoria advocate for sustainable food systems, including the role of alliances in their work and how the policy context shapes their work. The research used semi-structured interviews with civil society stakeholders, supplemented with documentary analysis, to explore the strategies used to advocate for sustainable food systems in Victoria. The research found that policy advocacy was not a current priority for many stakeholders, due to past disappointments with attempts to influence policy, and due to a lack of resources. Those stakeholders undertaking policy advocacy generally reacted to policy threats, rather than undertaking proactive and strategic policy actions. Many stakeholders focused on building an alternative food system rather than policy advocacy. The research concluded that while these actions contribute to a more sustainable food system, there is currently a lack of focus on proactive and strategic advocacy for policy change.
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