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A public food procurement policy has been identified as having significant potential to drive food consumption and production towards greater sustainability, delivering social, economic, environmental, and health benefits to multiple beneficiaries. However, empirical research reveals that the potential of public procurement of sustainable food (PPSF) is not currently being realised, with studies from a range of different countries identifying stubborn barriers. Situating PPSF within the complex multi-instrument setting of the broader policy system, and utilising the concept of policy interactions, can help to explain, articulate, and provide pathways to address barriers identified in empirical studies on PPSF. A desk survey of PPSF in different countries identified the range of instruments which interact with procurement policy. The findings detail PPSF instruments interacting with many other policy instruments, resulting in both positive reinforcing and negative undermining effects. Taken as a whole, these interactions suggest a ‘policy package’ of instruments which should be considered in PPSF policy design to maximise effectiveness and capitalise on its transformative potential.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere506
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Early online date2 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022


  • public food procurement
  • sustainable food
  • policy interactions
  • food systems
  • food policy


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