Meat tax idea described as ‘ignorance’

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Suggestions of a meat tax made by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas have been shot down by the industry
Suggestions of a meat tax made by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas have been shot down by the industry
The meat industry has hit back at suggestions of taxation put forward by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference last week, Lucas suggested a meat tax should be a priority for Government, with a focus on the beef sector.

She said: “We need serious consideration of measures like a meat tax, particularly for beef. I accept that British sheep farming is one of the least intensive forms of livestock farming so perhaps a banded system according to production method would help offset for more sustainable meat producers through increased revenue from targeted agri-environment schemes.”

She put forward the proposals on the back of the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets. “We need to recognise that diets are already shifting. One in eight people in the UK are vegetarian or vegan – while a further 20% are so-called flexitarian.”

Speaking to Food Manufacture​, British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) chief executive Nick Allen slammed the suggestion.

“Caroline Lucas’ comments and her suggestion of a meat tax, particularly on beef, expose her ignorance of production systems, the supply chain and her prejudices against meat-eating. 

“In the UK we have one of the best grass-growing climates in the world and we have some of the best producers in the world. Seventy per cent of our farmland is grassland that cannot be used for anything else and we are well placed to turn something that people cannot eat into something they can eat. At the same time, if the correct production methods are deployed, grassland can be beneficial to the environment.”

Allen suggested that the Government should be looking to support the meat industry further. “Far from taxing UK beef production, people should be looking at how it can be incentivised rather than importing it from other parts of the world. At the end of the day, a meat tax would be incredibly complicated and bureaucratic and would be likely to penalise the wrong people.”

A meat tax was proposed in November 2018 by the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford​. The report suggested that a tax on red and processed meat would “encourage consumers to make healthier choices”​. This proposal was also shot down by the industry, with Dr Carrie Ruxton, member of the Meat Advisory Panel, likening a meat tax to “using a sledgehammer to break a nut”​.

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3 comments

GREENS are certainly the fringe of the world.

Posted by Douglas Lineham,

Animals are bred because there is a demand for the relevant products derived, in fact the demand far outstrips supply when we think for a moment of all the people across the world that do not have sufficient to eat, the logistics of delivery and payment being the main hurdles.
If someone or some organisation wants to do something different then get on with it - stop trying to apply your misguided thinking to other sections of society when they have no interest in you (GREENS take note) or even like you as people. Like a bad haircut the GREENS will always be a fringe.

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MORE CLOWNS

Posted by RUSSELL LIVINGSTONE,

DO THESE SO CALLED EDUCATED MORONS NOT GET IT ,I DECIDE WHAT I EAT NOT SOME VEGAN AND DO THEY NOT REALISE IF THERE WAS NO DEMAND FOR MEAT THEN THEY WOULD NOT BE BRED -----ANIMALS ARE BRED FOR EATING IF THEY WERE NOT THEY WOULD BECOME EXTINCT I SUPPOSE A WORLD WITHOUT ANIMALS WOULD PLEASE VEGANS, AS FOR TAXING MEAT I THINK THESE VEGIES ARE OUT OF CONTROL, TAX VEG --TAX CABAGES SKY HIGH THEIR INCREASE OF CONSUMPTION SHOULD BE TAXED

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Idiots !

Posted by Clive Teobald,

What these Universities, MP's and public servants don't seem to understand is that once you reduce demand, or eliminate consumption of red meat, then the field & pastureland of livestock production comes under extreme pressure to remove hedgerows, walls, fencing and natural barriers and create vast landscapes of mono-culture growing GM modified crops sprayed with chemicals to increase yield. This nightmare future world will be tended by autonomous machines working day & night. The land is then stripped of it's nutrients, and the water-courses polluted with increasing levels of N & P runoff, chemicals and soil loss. This in turn destroys the natural environment, including plants, beneficial insects, birds & mammals who thrive in the hedgerows, wall and natural barriers. This is exactly what will happen and it will by controlled by 3 or 4 mega-global companies similar to Monsanto. Environmentalists, idiots !

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