Dutch Agriculture Minister starts study on meat taxation, revenues for sustainable farming
Dutch look into taxing meat as part of shift towards vegetable protein
March 30, 2022
Ministers have agreed to investigate whether or not a tax on meat would reduce consumption and whether it would be possible to implement such a tax in the first place, farm minister Henk Staghouwer has told MPs in a briefing. The measure is one of several recommendations to emerge from an evaluation of the government’s food policy between 2016 and 2020. A tax on meat, combined with the coalition agreement pledge for a tax increase on soft drinks, scrapping value added tax on fruit and vegetables and a sugar tax, ‘will encourage consumers to buy affordable, and more healthy and sustainable food,’ the minister said.
The government’s aim is to reduce the current 60% animal and 40% vegetable protein intake to a 50:50 balance. ‘It is an ambitious target and requires the population at large to change their eating patterns,’ Staghouwer said. Supermarkets, the hospitality industry and catering companies should also show responsibility and make it easier for consumers to chose sustainable and healthy foods, the minister said. Research last year showed some 80% of the products promoted in supermarkets do not contribute to a healthy diet. Government parties VVD and CDA have already said they do not back a tax on meat, as have far right and other opposition parties. In addition to reducing meat consumption the official five-food type strategy (schijf van vijf) remains a key part of steering food choices, Staghouwer said in his briefing. More emphasis will also be placed on cutting food waste.
Other government parties D66 and CU support a tax on meat and using revenues to support farmers. Previous consumer surveys showed that a majority of Dutch consumers support a meat tax as proposed by TAPP Coalition.
January 2021: https://www.dvj-insights.com/support-for-meat-tax-study-dvj-insights-tapp-coalition/
Januari 2022, sheet 19 Kieskompas enquête https://proveg.com/nl/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2022/02/Wat-vindt-Nederland-van-de-Eiwittransitie_2_De-Rol-van-de-Overheid.pdf
TAPP Coalition petitions for a tax and return system for a true meat price - Another step closer towards a fair meat price
During the same day, a petition was handed over by the TAPP Coalition to Laura Bromet, temporary chair of the Agriculture Committee of the House of Representatives. Several other agricultural spokespersons of the House of Representatives (including VVD, D66, CU, PvdA, SP, GL, BBB) also received a letter from the director of TAPP Coalition, Jeroom Remmers, regarding the introduction of a ‘true’ price for meat, which would include the environmental costs of production, such as greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed tax model redistributes a percentage of the revenue amongst farmers, financially supporting them to reduce their CO2 emissions and introducing more sustainable practices and animal welfare improvements. Furthermore, the TAPP Coalition promoted a 0% VAT rate on fruits and vegetables and compensation for lower-income households.
Today the Dutch House of Representative consulted with the Minister of Agriculture, Henk Staghouwer, with the topic of a redistributive tax on meat set to be on the agenda. A report commissioned by Wageningen University (WUR) was also discussed as laying a foundation to further inquiry. The TAPP Coalition has asked those in the House of Representatives to petition to the Minister to build upon the recommendations as outlined in the WUR report in future investigation.
The letter handed over was the same letter that had been sent to 50 countries, dealing with the application of ‘carbon pricing’ on meat and dairy products. The same letter had already been sent to the Dutch cabinet last autumn and can be accessed here: https://futurefoodprice.org
.Aniek Moonen, chairman of the Young Climate Movement, an umbrella organization of 70 youth organisations, was also present at the presentation to the members of the House of Representatives, emphasising the full support of the YCM for the TAPP Coalition's proposal for a fair meat price, which also includes the CO2 costs per kg. meat.