To assist local governments in prioritising actions to improve the healthiness, equity and environmental sustainability of food systems.
The ‘Local Food Systems Policy Index (Local Food-EPI+)’ tool was developed to benchmark and prioritise local government food policy actions, including those related to nutrition and environmental sustainability.
The tool was developed in conjunction with local government practitioners, policy makers and academic experts, as part of the international INFORMAS network (active in 65+ countries). The tool is designed for local governments to self-assess their performance against recommended policies, and prioritise areas for policy action.
The Local Food-EPI+ tool consists of 61 indicator statements in 25 policy areas, across 10 food policy domains, weighted on relative importance, as shown here: Local Food-EPI + Indicators.
Application of the tool aims to build the capacity of local governments to promote community health and wellbeing in the short- and long-term by identifying and prioritising food policy actions. It can also help local governments to set and meet healthy eating and environmental sustainability priorities in Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans. Broad application of the tool will identify best practice, monitor policy progress, build capacity and collaborations, and strengthen efforts to increase accountability for change.
As at the end of 2023, the Local Food-EPI+ tool has been successfully implemented in a number of local governments in Victoria, Australia. The final report for the City of Greater Bendigo (November 2022) is available here. Reports for other councils will be made available in 2024.
If you would like to find out more or express your interest in using the Local Food-EPI+ tool, please email Project Lead Professor Gary Sacks, using the contact button below.