Methodology

The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) want to ensure that all project outputs and deliverables accurately reflect the legal and political realities of food donation in participating countries. Accordingly, FLPC and GFN developed a detailed project methodology that emphasizes inclusion and transparency. Key elements of this process are provided below: 

Country site selection

FLPC and GFN selected 15 countries to include in The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas over the course of two years. Year one countries include: Argentina, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United States. Year two countries include: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. All countries selected are from GFN member or affiliate countries and demonstrate a heightened need for legal support in the area of food donation paired with a readiness for policy change.

Connections with in-country food banks and food recovery organizations

In each selected country, FLPC and GFN worked closely with GFN member and affiliate food banks or food recovery organizations to better understand past and ongoing efforts to leverage food donation as a solution to food loss, food waste, and food insecurity. In-country partners kept FLPC apprised of any legal and policy developments relevant to food donation during the course of engagement, helped to connect FLPC to points of contact within the public and private sectors, and reviewed legal guides and policy recommendations prior to publication.

Legal and policy research into food loss, waste, and recovery efforts

FLPC has gained a national reputation for its expertise in food waste law and policy in the United States. FLPC applied this expert knowledge as well as its advanced research and analysis skills to unearth the laws and policies most relevant to food donation within each country site. FLPC relied on in-country source material, including proposed or adopted legislation and popular media such as newspapers as well as reports and articles from international organizations.

Country visits and stakeholder interviews

When feasible, FLPC visited the countries to conduct research and meet with food bank partners, government officials, food donors, and other stakeholders in the private and public sectors. During the course of these visits, FLPC shared preliminary research and heard perspectives on existing or proposed food donation law and policy. Whether an in-country visit was conducted or the research was conducted remotely, FLPC undertook interviews with potential donors and other supply chain actors, as well as with government agency representatives, to inform FLPC’s understanding of the practical barriers and policy opportunities to strengthen food donation within the country.

Consultation with in-country legal experts

In each participating country, FLPC consulted with leading lawyers or policy experts, who provided guidance on the most complex legal issues relevant to food donation such as tax incentives and barriers. These experts not only helped answer questions as they arose during the research and drafting stages, but reviewed final documents for accuracy prior to publication.

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