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Concept definitions

This section explains the definition of terms that guided the extraction of the policies. It is important to emphasize that multiple definitions exist, and different definitions often relate to different disciplinary background.


  • Public policy: public policy includes actions of government and/or public agencies to convert competing private objectives into public commitments, and includes decisions not to take action. Public policies are purposeful decisions made by authoritative actors in a political system who have the formal responsibility for making binding choices among societal goals. Public policy is a form of government control usually expressed in a law, a regulation, or an order. Since it reflects an intent of government, it is backed by an authorized reward, incentive or penalty (Cochran and Malone, 2005, page 13).
  • Food policy: any government action that can affect the food system concerning production and its inputs, package, process, trade, retail and consumption, and the disposal of waste.
  • Innovation: implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations (EU SCAR, 2012).
  • (R&)Innovation activity: all scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial steps that actually, or intend to, lead to the implementation of innovations (EU SCAR, 2012).
  • FNS-R&I policy: any government action that funds, stimulate or directs R&I to promote innovation for food systems.
  • Policy goal: statements describing the fundamental outcomes that a policy aims to achieve through its activities. Policy goals are high order statements of desired outcomes (e.g. reduced environmental impact).
  • Policy instrument: techniques or means through which public actors (e.g. national and EU government bodies, public agencies, etc.) attempt to attain their goals.
  • Policy target group(s): the societal groups that are directly affected by the policy, more specifically:
  • Primary target: the main societal group towards which the policy action is directed or applied by the instrument used;
  • Ultimate beneficiary: the societal group that is linked to the overall policy goal (e.g. a sugar tax affects manufacturing companies, but is intended to promote healthy eating habits among consumers, who thus are the ultimate beneficiaries).


Food Policy Database

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