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Trade and food policy: Case studies from three Pacific Island countries


  • Thow, Anne Marie
  • Swinburn, Boyd
  • Colagiuri, Stephen
  • Diligolevu, Mere
  • Quested, Christine
  • Vivili, Paula
  • Leeder, Stephen


There is growing interest in the use of trade policy to create a healthier food supply. Eighty percent of chronic disease deaths occur in low and middle income countries, and a responsive food policy is an absolute necessity. In this paper we analysed three trade-related food policy initiatives to reduce the supply of fatty meat in the Pacific, in order to help public health workers understand how to effect policy change in sectors beyond the health portfolio. We found that policy uptake and implementation were easier with advocacy, tailoring the policy to the political context, the selection of policy tools that align with Government priorities (e.g. trade commitments) - ideally tools that are already used by trade policy makers in other contexts - and a broad justification for the policy initiative. Barriers to policy success included a focus only on health concerns (not taking into account policy issues of other sectors), limited engagement from other sectors in proposing and developing these cross-sectoral policies, and lack of a clear enforcement mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Thow, Anne Marie & Swinburn, Boyd & Colagiuri, Stephen & Diligolevu, Mere & Quested, Christine & Vivili, Paula & Leeder, Stephen, 2010. "Trade and food policy: Case studies from three Pacific Island countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 556-564, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:35:y:2010:i:6:p:556-564

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2006. "Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development : A Strategy for Large Scale Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7409.
    2. Popkin, Barry M., 2006. "Technology, transport, globalization and the nutrition transition food policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 554-569, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dragan Miljkovic & Saleem Shaik & Silvia Miranda & Nikita Barabanov & Anais Liogier, 2015. "Globalisation and Obesity," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(8), pages 1278-1294, August.
    2. Roger S. Magnusson & David Patterson, 2015. "How Can We Strengthen Governance of Non-communicable Diseases in Pacific Island Countries and Territories?," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 293-309, May.
    3. Thow, Anne Marie & Snowdon, Wendy & Labonté, Ronald & Gleeson, Deborah & Stuckler, David & Hattersley, Libby & Schram, Ashley & Kay, Adrian & Friel, Sharon, 2015. "Will the next generation of preferential trade and investment agreements undermine prevention of noncommunicable diseases? A prospective policy analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 88-96.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:11:p:2068-:d:118435 is not listed on IDEAS


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