A decade of Dutch food policy – sustainable develop-ment or standstill between 2007-2017?

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This research analyses how sustainable food policy in the Netherlands has evolved – changed or stagnated – between 2007 and 2017 from a governance perspective. It employs the Multiple Streams Framework to review (societal) problems, politics and policy, and their interactions, for all four national governmental cabinets in this period and so aims to explain how and why governmental policy choices were made. In doing so, an explanation is sought for today’s state of Dutch sustainable food policy as well, in relation to its negative impacts on the environment, climate, animal welfare and animal and human health. Both Dutch food production and consumption policy are included in the analysis. Primary data sources include observations, interviews, and a focus group with policy employees at the ministry of Economic Affairs, in The Hague. Secondary data sources include official policy documents and a variety of media items. The results show that important focusing events, such as animal disease, animal welfare or food fraud crises, have caused for policy changes. Political instability, changeover of government, and shifts in the national mood were important for both change in the content and governance modes of sustainable food policy. Policy content and responsibilities have shifted considerably over the decade.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen