The role of a food policy coalition in influencing a local food environment: an Australian case study

Julia McCartan, Claire Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore how an Australian rural food policy coalition acts to influence a local food environment, focusing specifically on its composition, functions and processes as well as its food-related strategies and policy outputs. Design: A qualitative case study approach was undertaken. Three sources were used to triangulate data: eleven semi-structured in-depth interviews with coalition members, analysis of thirty-seven documents relating to the coalition and observation at one coalition meeting. Data were analysed using a thematic and constant comparison approach. Community Coalition Action Theory provided a theoretical framework from which to interpret findings. Setting: Two rural local government areas on the south-eastern coast of Victoria, Australia. Subjects: Eleven members of the food policy coalition. Results: Five themes emerged from the data analysis. The themes described the coalition’s leadership processes, membership structure, function to pool resources for food system advocacy, focus on collaborative cross-jurisdictional strategies and ability to influence policy change. Conclusions: This Australian case study demonstrates that with strong leadership, a small-sized core membership and focus on collaborative strategies, food policy coalitions may be a mechanism to positively influence local food environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-926
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Food environment
  • Food policy coalition
  • Food policy council
  • Local government
  • Qualitative methods

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