Local policies & regulations for healthy and sustainable food environments

Incubator Project

Local policies and regulations for healthy and sustainable food environments to
prevent chronic diseases and promote planetary health.

Seminar Series

This program focusses on local policies and regulations for healthy and sustainable food environments to prevent chronic diseases and promote planetary health. It is organized by the Wageningen Centre of Sustainable Governance (WCSG). Presentations from various chair groups and additional outside speakers capture the interdisciplinarity of WCSG. A total of 5 seminars will provide a broad perspective on research and societal activities around the local food environment. This deeper understanding of local food policy leverage points is important in order to prevent environmental deterioration and chronic diseases linked to diets.

See the full program of seminar series here


Diet-related chronic diseases and environmental degradation are major public and planetary health challenges. Diets are not merely the result of individual decisions, but strongly influenced by the food environment. Commercial interests have been allowed to prevail over public and planetary health, in which unhealthy and unsustainable food choices are more affordable and easier made than healthy sustainable food choices.

To correct for this market failure, it is essential that governments develop and implement structural, nationwide policies to reverse the unsupportive nature of food environments to redirect consumption practices. Most research in this field addresses (supra)national policies and already effective
policy measures to improve food environments have been identified. What has been less understood is the potential of local level policy/regulations.

There is a need for a better understanding of food policy leverage points at the local level. To illustrate, we need to identify the legislative opportunities for healthy food zoning (spatial planning) or explore pathways to regulate ‘dark kitchens’. In gathering this knowledge, we cannot only build upon theoretical insights and legislation but also have to incorporate practice based evidence to generate knowledge about what local level policies/regulations could work and why. Within the Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance, we (researchers from CHL, PAP, LAW and ENP) are fragmentally working in this field of research, but each from our own discipline.

Activities & Outcomes

We will strengthen our collaboration and visibility by means of the following activities:

1. Working group meetings on local policies for supportive local food environments

2. Write an interdisciplinary scientific paper on the potential of local policies to create supportive food environments

Full project proposal

Read the full project proposal here