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Achieving a coherent set of food-related policies is a challenge for policymakers worldwide, as food matters are addressed at more than one level of governance and across several policy domains. Policies in different domains can sustain each other by sharing the same objectives and actions or they can hinder each other, resulting indifferent levels of coherence. Focusing on the case study of the region Emilia-Romagna (Italy), the present research aims to answer the following research questions: to what extent is food mentioned in regional policies? Are the food-related objectives of Emilia-Romagna policies coherent with each other? Mixed methods were used in three subsequent research steps. Step 1 consisted of collating an inventory of regional policies where food is present. In Step 2, identified policies were analysed with quantitative content analysis, to examine their objectives, degree of targeting, which food supply chain step they focus on, and which policy instrument type they plan to use. Step 3 aimed to assess the coherence of the identified food-related policies’ objectives among each other through expert interviews, analysed with thematic coding. Overall, regional policies reached a good degree of coherence around the common intention of making Emilia-Romagna thrive economically. However, some level of incoherence is present, as a systematic process that lowers incoherence in policymaking is not in place yet. Therefore, implementing the use of a Policy Coherence Matrix as a standardised practice for policy approval is recommended to coordinate food-related policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102519
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFood Policy
Early online date16 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2023


  • Food Policy
  • Policy Coherence
  • Food policy
  • Regional food system
  • Policy coherence
  • Policy analysis
  • Content analysis
  • Regional government


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