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The role of a food policy coalition in influencing a local food environment: an Australian case study

  • Julia McCartan (a1) and Claire Palermo (a1)

Abstract

Objective

To explore how an Australian rural food policy coalition acts to influence a local food environment, focusing specifically on its composition, functions and processes as well as its food-related strategies and policy outputs.

Design

A qualitative case study approach was undertaken. Three sources were used to triangulate data: eleven semi-structured in-depth interviews with coalition members, analysis of thirty-seven documents relating to the coalition and observation at one coalition meeting. Data were analysed using a thematic and constant comparison approach. Community Coalition Action Theory provided a theoretical framework from which to interpret findings.

Setting

Two rural local government areas on the south-eastern coast of Victoria, Australia.

Subjects

Eleven members of the food policy coalition.

Results

Five themes emerged from the data analysis. The themes described the coalition’s leadership processes, membership structure, function to pool resources for food system advocacy, focus on collaborative cross-jurisdictional strategies and ability to influence policy change.

Conclusions

This Australian case study demonstrates that with strong leadership, a small-sized core membership and focus on collaborative strategies, food policy coalitions may be a mechanism to positively influence local food environments.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email julia.mccartan@monash.edu

References

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