"Make healthy food cheaper" - Eosta has said it for years, and health scientists are now saying it too
Lower the VAT on fruit and vegetables, implement a meat tax or impose a sugar tax. Eosta has often pleaded for such fiscal measures to promote healthy eating. Eosta is doing this in think tanks such as the Dutch TAPP-coalition, in its Dr. Goodfood campaign and in media appearances. Now, 44 experts of the Dutch RIVM institute for health and the environment are saying it too: healthy food should be made cheaper and unhealthy food should be made more expensive. Dutch daily NRC wrote this interesting article about it on 6 April 2021.
Eosta has been pleading for years to implement financial measures to promote healthy food and sustainable farming, which go hand in hand. In 2018, Eosa CEO Volkert Engelsman was the spokesman of a broad organic coalition that pleaded with the Dutch Parliament for 0% VAT on organic food. In the Dutch TAPP coalition, which wants to accelerate the protein transition, Eosta has been calling for meat to be made more expensive and vegetables cheaper. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2021, Engelsman pleaded with Frans Timmermans of the European Commission to impose higher taxes on meat and lowerer tax on vegetables and fruit, at a European level. In previous years, Engelsman also regularly spoke out in favour of a sugar tax, on several Dutch radio programs and the Amsterdam debate series "It's the food, my friend".
These measures would not only bring health benefits, but also greatly improve sustainability in agriculture. Reducing meat consumption would bring a serious boost for the climate, environment and biodiversity. From a wider perspective, such measures create a more equal playing field between sustainable and unstustainable enterprises. Now that RIVM has joined in the call for bonus/malus measures for healthy food and agriculture, we expect these ideas will be realized in actual policies and laws.
In 2018 Eosta started the Dr. Goodfood campaign to highlight the important role of fresh fruit and vegetables for the immune system and health. It offers retailers and consumers communication tools, practical tips and recipes to get started. For more information: www.drgoodfood.org.