Conceptualising household food insecurity in Northern Ireland: risk factors, implications for society and the economy, and recommendations for business and policy response

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Abstract

Household food insecurity in developed nations has been identified as a significant public health concern. Although various research on the topic exists, such as contributors to food insecurity, and implications for individual physical and mental health outcomes; there is currently a lack of consideration as to how individual implications of food insecurity such as poor physical and mental health can consequently impact on business and the wider economy. In addition, there is a lack of conceptual literature related to food insecurity. Stakeholder interviews (n=19) were conducted, and data were used to inform the conceptual model (risk factors, potential implications for individuals, the economy and business, and opportunities for business and policy response). The main suggested implications related to business and the economy were reduced contribution to the workforce and the economy, and increased cost pressures on the National Health Service. Business responses suggested included the inclusion of initiatives to address food insecurity in corporate social responsibility strategies, and further involvement of food businesses/retailers in redistributing surplus food. Policy responses suggested included policies relating to welfare, wages and work contracts, food redistribution incentives, sustainability, and community interventions in disadvantaged areas. The resulting model is unique
in conceptualising food insecurity in the Northern Ireland context, with applicability to the UK and other developed nations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalSN Business & Economics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021

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