Food Policy in the United Kingdom: An Introduction

Martin Caraher, Sinéad Furey, Rebecca Wells

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book provides an introduction to food policy in the United Kingdom, examining policy development, implementation, influences and current issues.

The book begins by providing a wide-ranging introduction to food policy in the UK, situating it within wider global debates and establishing key drivers, such as issues related to global citizenship, trade and finance. The use of food control as a policy lever is also discussed and contrasted with alternative approaches based on behaviour change. The book presents an overview of the history of UK food policy, from which there is much to be learned, before moving onto current challenges posed by political instability, both at home and abroad, global pandemics and cost of living crises. Foremost is the need to manage public health, including both malnutrition and obesity, while promoting sustainable and healthy diets, as well as the broader issues around addressing food security and food poverty. The book also examines public sector food initiatives, such as school food and early childhood provisions, and food regulation. As a part of food regulation, chapters examine food scares and food fraud, from chalk in flour to "horsegate". The role of media, marketing and advertising is also considered within a policy perspective. Taking a wider lens, the book also discusses the impact of global food trade and the financialisation of food on food policy in the UK and vice versa. The book is supported by instructor eResources on the Routledge website designed to support student learning as well as provide regular updates on UK food policy developments. The eResources include student activities, group exercises and links to further reading and additional resources.

This book serves as a key introduction to UK food and agricultural policy for students, scholars, policymakers and professionals, as well as those interested in food systems, public health and social policy more widely.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)ISBN 9781032196770
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Jul 2023


  • Food Policy


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