Regulatory governance pathways to improve the efficacy of Australian food policies

22nd July 2021

Researchers Sharon Friel, Yandisa Ngqangashe and Ashley Schram from the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) recently completed a Medical Research Future Fund project focused on studying the regulatory governance of food policies and the impact on population nutrition outcomes, with an ultimate goal of making recommendations for designing and implementing fit-for-purpose food and nutrition policies in Australia.

As a way of engaging with key stakeholders, the research team made a short video of the project and key findings, which was shared with more than 40 food policy leaders from government, NGOs and academia in advance of an online event “Pathways to policy success: A roundtable on regulatory governance of food policy for population nutrition” held on 10th June, 2021.

Through a review of the international literature, and using a qualitative comparative analysis methodology, they identified regulatory governance conditions that are necessary and sufficient for food policy success in terms of nutrition outcomes. Comprehensive monitoring was identified as a necessary regulatory governance condition for positive policy impact. In addition, the analysis identified two regulatory governance pathways that are sufficient for policy success in relation to population nutrition:

  1. A combination of minimal industry involvement; government-led policy with mandatory regulation; use of international best practice instrument design, and comprehensive monitoring and enforcement.
  2. A combination of minimal industry involvement, best practice instrument design and comprehensive monitoring.

These findings from the international literature have been used to examine the extent to which three Australian policy cases depict the key regulatory governance conditions identified for policy success, and to make recommendations for improvement.

Read the policy brief based on the Australian analysis.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet