EU Commission and Parliament requested to reduce food prices
The EU Commission will publish its proposals tomorrow on how to reduce energy prices, a very good initiative.
TAPP Coalition today asked EU Commissioners including Frans Timmermans and all EU members of Parliament to help to reduce food prices in the EU in a similar way, for low and middle income groups. The EU Commission will publish proposals 15th September to reduce electricity consumption by 10 percent, implement solidarity taxes for energy companies and use tax revenues for energy subsidies for low income groups.
TAPP Coalition suggested the EU Commission to make similar laws to tax supermarkets, food and feed commodity companies that had very high profits in 2021 and use temporary tax revenues to give temporary food vouchers (on healthy food) for low income groups. Another permanent proposal is to reduce EU VAT tariffs to 0% for vegetables, fruits and plant-based meat & dairy and all organic products, while increasing VAT tariffs on (non-organic) meat products to help finance price reductions for more healthy and sustainable food products. And the EU can make laws to reduce meat consumption with 10 percent by 2023 (similar to laws to reduce electricity consumption with 10 percent by 2023).
This is proposed by the charity True Animal Protein Price Coalition. Director Jeroom Remmers: ‘Low and middle income groups cannot afford to buy healthy food and energy bills anymore, we need the EU and European governments to act and make healthy food products more affordable, similar to laws for lower energy prices. We also propose EU wide food vouchers for healthy, sustainable food products for low income groups, similar to the plans recently proposed by Macron in France for 2023'.
Cost of food in the European Union increased 12.82 percent in July of 2022 over the same month in the previous year. On the other hand, large European supermarkets like Carrefour (France) and Edeka and Rewe (Germany) made high profits in 2021. Carrefour for instance reported records in operating income (2,27 billion euro, +7,7%). Tesco doubled pre-tax profits to more than £2bn in 2021.The EU wants to tax oil companies 33 percent of their windfall-profits (a profit higher than 20 percent of average profits in the last 3 years). In a similar way supermarkets, food and feed commodity companies can be forced to pay a tax over their windfall-profits in 2021, compared to their average profits in the three years 2017-2019 without Covid-19. Taxes for food and feed commodity companies can be focused best to companies like ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus, controlling 90% of global grain trade, who made extreme profits in 2021, while global hunger was rising as a result of high food prices. In 2021 the number of Cargill family members who became a food billionaire grew from 8 to 12, according to Oxfam.
The need to reduce EU meat consumption is described in the EU Green Deal for Food, the Farm to Fork Strategy. According to the EU Court of Auditors, 53% of EU food related GHG-emissions is caused by just one food product: meat. A meat consumption reduction goal of 10 percent by 2023 would be obvious for many reasons: the negative impact on global food prices as a result of high land use needed for animal feed for meat production, climate change, biodiversity-loss, public health and increasing health care costs. According to an Oxford University report, EU health care costs could be reduced by at least 9 billion euro per year if countries would tax red and processed meat or reduce meat intake by other policies. This would also help low income groups to reduce overall costs of living and improve health.
Low income groups face many health problems related to unhealthy food habits. Making healthy food cheaper will benefit low income groups most.
It will help them to live longer in good health and contribute more to the economy. Overweight, diabetes 2, cancer and cardiovascular diseases will be reduced. A reduction of 10% meat consumption in Europe can be realized by coordinated higher VAT tariffs in combination of national obligations to mix plant-based proteins in mixed meat products, restrictions to sell meat at too low prices or restrictions in marketing. The UK will start restrictions in marketing of less healthy food products by January 2023, including different meat- and dairy products. Boris Johnson proposed this policy when he was hit by Covid-19 and wanted to stimulate healthy food habits. An overwhelming majority in the EU Parliament (including Liberals, Christian and Social Democrats) voted 19th October last year for a proposal for 0% VAT rates for healthy, sustainable food products and implementing the highest VAT rate for food products with a negative impact on the environment and public health. The moment is now for the EU Commission and European countries to act, in a way consumers will have a net benefit with overall lower food prices, with additional healthy food vouchers for the lowest income groups.
More info: Jeroom Remmers
Director True Animal Protein Price Coalition
We represent 0,6 million European citizens from 60 partner organisations
Minahassastraat 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands
0031 6 22 40 77 12
EU health care cost reduction 9 billion euro/year, p. 18 report https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TuFb2z75vacNpLR97Nx-Gb15PnxEvQKH/view based on: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0204139#:~:text=Under%20optimal%20taxation%2C%20prices%20for,0.2%25%20to%20over%2020%25.
EU parliament vote 19th October 2021 on VAT food price reforms: https://tappcoalition.eu/nieuws/16969/eu-parliament-majority-asks-for--true-pricing-food-products--and-highest-vat-tariff-for-products-like-meat
Oxfam: 62 new food billionairs caused by windfall profits in food sector in 2021 : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/27/windfall-tax-on-covid-profits-could-ease-catastrophic-food-crisis-says-oxfam
EU Court of Auditors report : p. 28 https://www.eca.europa.eu/en/Pages/DocItem.aspx?did=58913