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Search protocol

Selection criteria

For a policy to be included in the database, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • it must be a government action, an action implemented in partnership with government, or an action that is supported, sponsored or endorsed by government (i.e. by EC or member states’ governments);
  • it must be a policy implemented in, or funded by, the EU or Member States;
  • it must be related to the food system and the R&I goals displayed in the classification section;
  • it must be directed to one of the target groups displayed in the classification section.

Whenever possible, additional information on the policy as described in a specific document, publication or hyperlink has been provided under the following conditions:

  • the document must clearly specify the description of the policy, which has to include its goal and sub-goal, ultimate beneficiary, primary target, policy instruments used, policy maker who implemented it, geographical information, year or period of implementation, etc.;
  • the document must belong to one of the following categories: it is published by a Member State government or the EU/EC; it is a study published as a scientific article; it has been included in existing review or collection of policies (e.g. the NOURISHING database);
  • the document must be written in English, with some exceptions for documents published in the national original language that we translated into English.

Search strategy

The policy mapping aims to be comprehensive in scope, but not necessarily exhaustive. The aim was to collect several examples for each policy goal, actor targeted and instrument used, but it is not claimed that all the policies implemented in the EU have been gathered in this first release of the data set. However, the mapping does cover at least one example of policy for each (sub-)goal considered.

As first thing, references from collections of policies already available, such as the NOURISHING database, have been collected and classified. A collaboration and an exchange of information with the SCAR group has allowed the inclusion of information from a qualitative mapping performed on Member States, focusing on R&I food policies. Then, additional policies were identified through the EC website and Member States government websites. Scientific literature available on on-line databases (e.g. Google scholar, WOS, Scopus) has been used to fill the gaps, and is cited in the database for further information about the policies.

For each source, a specific search procedure has been adopted.

  • NOURISHING: For each policy included in the Nourishing database, a research is performed on the website of the Member State that promoted and implemented it. Other official sources are reviewed – such as scientific literature quoting the policy, online news websites, websites of public and private associations – in order to find detailed information about the policy.
  • SCAR: The SCAR group collected questionnaires from twenty EU Member States. For each of them, the questionnaire asked for weblinks regarding:
  1. National and regional policies or strategies that are relevant to ensuring food and nutrition security (e.g. agriculture, health, food safety, climate, fisheries, etc.);
  2. National and regional R&I policies, strategies or funding programmes relevant to food and nutrition security (e.g. agriculture, health, food safety, climate, fisheries, etc.).

Starting from the indicated weblinks, information is searched in Member States websites. Websites in languages different from English have been translated using Google translate; websites that provided information about policies only in pdf file could not be translated.

  • Governments of EU Member States websites: For all the EU Member States a search has been conducted on their government’s websites, focusing on agriculture, health and economics ministries.
  • EC website: The Europen Commission website has been consulted to collect R&I policies covering topics that are relevant for the food system (e.g. agriculture and rural development, fisheries, environment, climate change, food safety).


Food Policy Database

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