Purpose: A number of food poverty definitions have been identified by academics and various government organisations globally; however, there exists no government-endorsed definition of food poverty in the United Kingdom (UK), and there remains a gap regarding how relevant current food poverty definitions are in the Northern Ireland (NI)/UK contexts. Design/methodology/approach: Interviews (n = 19) with a range of stakeholders (e.g. policymakers, politicians, community advice centre workers, consumer sub-group representatives, food bank and food redistribution organisation representatives) were conducted to examine (1) the usefulness of a food poverty definition, (2) what a food poverty definition should include and (3) the applicability of an existing definition (Radimer et al., 1992) in the NI/UK context. Data was thematically analysed using QSR NVivo (v.12). Findings: Definition was considered important to increase awareness and understanding. Any consideration of revising the Radimer et al. (1992) definition, or of establishing a new standardised definition, should seek to reduce/remove ambiguity and subjectivity of terminology used (i.e. more clearly defining what the terms “adequate”, “sufficient”, “quality” and “socially acceptable ways” mean in this context). Practical implications: This research emphasises the importance of appropriately conceptually defining social phenomena such as food poverty, as a first step to constructing and reviewing measurement approaches and ultimately assessing predictors and recommending solutions. Originality/value: This research addresses the gap relating to stakeholders’ opinion on food poverty definition and contributes recommendations for modifying the Radimer et al. (1992) definition in the NI/UK and present-day contexts.
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- Food access
- Food insecurity
- Food poverty
- Qualitative analysis
- Thematic analysis