In 2023 the TAPP Coalition commissioned the report 'Pay as you eat meat, dairy and eggs', written by CE Delft with technical support from I4cE (France) and Ecologic Institute (Germany). The EU-report can be found here: https://cedelft.eu/publications/pay-as-you-eat-dairy-eggs-and-meat-internalising-external-costs-of-animal-food-products-in-france-germany-and-the-eu27/
For France a specific report was published (and translated into French): https://ce.nl/publicaties/pay-as-you-eat-dairy-eggs-and-meat/
For Germany a specific report was published (and translated into German): https://cedelft.eu/publications/pay-as-you-eat-dairy-eggs-and-meat-external-cost-estimates-and-policy-options-to-internalise-them-in-germany/
Consumer survey Ipsos on meat taxation in Germany, France and the Netherlands: https://www.tappcoalition.eu/images/Ipsos-report-EU-foodprices-final-min-1684314038.pdf
In april 2023 TAPP Coalition commissioned a report on health cost per kg red meat and processed meat, written by Wageningen University and True Price: https://www.tappcoalition.eu/nieuws/20123/health-costs-of-7-5-euros-per-kg-of-red-meat-overconsumption
TAPP Coalition presented a report the 5th February 2020 in the European Parliament:
This report is based on a report of CE Delft 'Sustainability charge on meat', commissioned by TAPP Coalition:
https://www.cedelft.eu/en/publications/2411/a-sustainability-charge-on-meat. This report calculated the effect of environmental taxes on beef, pork and chicken meat in the EU-28 member states. This would result in a reduction of 50% of meat consumption and a reduction of 120 Mton CO2 eq/ year, equal to 3% of all European GHG-emissions.
In 2011 a similar report was published on EU consumer taxes on animal food products like meat and dairy. They also estimated the decrease in agricultural land area through the related changes in food production and the additional mitigation potential in devoting this land to bioenergy production. Results indicate that agricultural emissions in the EU27 can be reduced by approximately 32 million tons of CO2-eq with a GHG weighted tax on animal food products corresponding to 60 per ton CO2-eq
In the EU Law Journal (dec 2021) an article was published 'The effect of a carbon-meat tax in the EU' with a literature review of 15 studies, including 'Aligning food pricing policies with the European Green Deal'. Out of 15 studies, this one was recommended especially.
Compassion in World Farming published a paper 'Paying the true price for meat, eggs and dairy, with an overview of negative external effects and costs of eating these products (environmental costs, biodiversity loss, health costs etc.):
Chatham House published 'Changing Climate, Changing Diets – Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption'. London. Written by Wellesley, L., Happer, C. & Froggatt, A (2015)..https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/changing-climate-changing-diets
Plant-based food - to respond to global challenges - Louis Bonduelle Foundation http://www.fondation-louisbonduelle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2003_bond_white-paper_a4-en.pdf
Eating Better 2018 Report - Principles for eating meat and dairy more sustainably: the 'less and better' approach
Eating Better - a coalition of more than 50 organisations in the UK that is promoting to eat less and better meat and dairy - published a report on how and why to do so. "We have the power to have a positive impact on our health and the planet by making conscious food choices". The 2018 report outlines and explains 8 simple principles to eat meat and dairy more sustainably. To learn more about how and why to eat less and better meat and dairy, see the report: https://www.eating-better.org/uploads/Documents/2018/better_meat_report_FINAL.pdf
Meat consumption per country and meat prices
Health impacts of meat in the EU (2021):
"Nikolai Pushkarev from the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) wrote this report on health impacts of meat in the EU."
Read the report here.
European Commission. (2008). The use of differential VAT rates to promote changes in consumption and innovation - Final Report. https://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/taxation/pdf/vat_final.pdf
"According to a report by the EU Commission, an adjustment of VAT on meat and dairy products would lead to an average price increase of 12% in all member states and this would cause a drop in demand for meat by up to 7% and for milk by up to 5%."
ATKearney 2019 Report - How will cultured meat and meat alternatives disrupt the agricultural and food industry?
A number of meat alternatives are evolving, each with the potential to disrupt the multibillion-dollar global meat industry. To learn more, see the report.
International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (2019) - Towards a common food policy for the European Union
In the beginning of 2019 the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) published research and a blueprint for a common food policy for the European Union. http://www.ipes-food.org/pages/CommonFoodPolicy
It is recommended to promote sufficient, healthy and sustainable diets for all. Unhealthy diets are driving an obesity epidemic and an explosion of NCDs: the leading cause of death in Europe. Improving diets requires a range of policies to be realigned — from urban planning to food taxes and marketing rules — to build food environments in which the healthy option is the easiest. The EU must reform public procurement and VAT rules, and comprehensively restrict junk food marketing, in order to shift the incentives in favor of healthy and sustainable diets. Furthermore, the EU should require Member States to develop Healthy Diet Plans (covering public procurement, urban planning, fiscal and social policies, marketing, zoning & licensing and nutrition education) as a condition for unlocking CAP payments and exempt vegetables and fruits from VAT.
ING (2017) - The protein shift: Will Europeans change their diet?
ING published a report in 2017: 'The Protein Shift. Will Europeans change their diet?" 27% of Europeans expect to eat less meat in the next 5 years, leading to 3% less meat consumption. Health reasons are dominant. Policy options are discussed including taxing meat products. https://www.ing.nl/media/ING_EBZ_-the-protein-shift-will-Europeans-change-their-diet_tcm162-136110.pdf
World Resource Institute: lower meat consumption is needed in high income countries to feed the world.
The World Resource Institute wrote a report with scenario’s for global food consumption in 2050: lower meat consumption is needed in high income countries to feed the world.
Read the report here.
The Dutch government sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament 20th April 2020 including a policy proposal for a meat tax, including external costs, conform the Tapp Coalition plan.
Some government and opposition political parties adopted the plan for a Dutch meat tax in their election programs, so there is a chance the next Dutch government will implement the meat tax.
See more details here: news item & download the letter (PDF)
Springmann et al. (2018) Health-motivated taxes on red and processed meat: A modelling study on optimal tax levels and associated health impacts. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0204139. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0204139#sec011
Springmann et al. proposes a tax in rich countries of approximately 100% on the price of processed meat and approx. 16% on the price of red meat to minimize the health damage caused by eating too much processed and red meat. This tax can be introduced in 140 countries (a lower tax in poor countries) and would save more than 220,000 deaths per year and more than 40 billion US dollars in health costs per year. In the annex to the report, the effects of the introduction of a Health Tax on meat were examined for individual countries: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0204139.s001&type=supplementary
For the Netherlands for instance, a levy of 115% on processed meat and 27% on red meat would be necessary for an optimal health effect. This leads to a 25% lower consumption of processed meat and to 1680 fewer deaths in the year 2020, and 376 million euros less costs for health care related to meat consumption (430 million USD). The levies ensure an annual tax revenue in the Netherlands of 1.09 billion euros (0.75 USD for processed meat and 0.49 USD for red meat). As a result of the health tax, people will buy more non-taxed proteins such as chicken and milk. This is an improvement for health and the environment, as the climate impact of these products per kilo is much lower than that of beef, veal and pork. It is calculated that the health tax would decrease energy intake by an average of 23 kcal/day. This is due to a decrease of 24 kcal/d for processed meat, 6 kcal / d for red meat and 3 kcal / d for oils. On the other hand there is an increase in chicken, milk and eggs with resp. 6, 4 and 0.56 kcal/day
Alshahrani et al. (2019) Red and processed meat and mortality in a low meat intake population. Nutrients 11:622. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/3/622/pdf
A new study found that a combination of red and processed meat was associated with a 23% increase in all-cause mortality and 34% increase in cardiovasular disease mortality in US and Canadian adults.
A Better Plant-Based Future (2019) is a policy paper from Upfield, the largest company in the world in plant based products. It contains information why eating less animal products and more plant based products benefits societies in terms of health, health care costs, climate change, environment and biodiversity.
Calculator for CO2-footprint of meat and other foodproducts:
"A plea for plant based diets" 2019 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-41zXvilB9ULWetEUlFGRIBLZOnrwgsm/view
"Policy packaging can make food system transformation more feasible", 17 March 2020, Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-0047-4 In this article a survey is described amongst ca. 5000 consumers in China, USA and Germany with food policy packages including a meat tax and subsidies for plant based meat alternatives. The results for China are promising: a majority of the Chinese people supports 15% higher meat prices (tax), and subsidies on plant based meat alternatives. And a majority of Chinese consumers supports mandating a minimum share of 50% vegetarian meals in public cafeterias. Combining policy proposals (taxes with subsidies and campaigns, obligations etc) will increase public support for less popular policy measures like taxes. This was also found in The Netherlands by Tapp Coalition (63% of Dutch consumers support a meat tax if revenues are used for subsidies for vegetables/fruits and plant based meat alternatives and subsidies for farmers and compensations for low income groups).
85% of German consumers supporting a meat tax (0,50 eurocent/kg if revenue is used for farmers and animal welfare improvements): https://www.fleischwirtschaft.de/politik/nachrichten/Greenpeace-Fleischsteuer-ist-gewuenscht-41041?crefresh=1
In an earlier survey, 68% of German consumers indicated that they promote a tax on meat to reduce GHG-emissions. Source: Der Spiegel, asking readers’ views on the regulation of meat consumption through a tax, 68.72% of 15,769 people favoured such a tax. See p. 166 https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/CC75BE9EC9AAFFF13E7E9994F0DC2D19/S2047102515000011a.pdf/greenhouse-gas-taxes-on-meat-products-a-legal-perspective.pdf
56,4% of Germans said in 2019 they support a tax on meat (Morgenpost.de and Online-Civey):
Reduced VAT rates for organic products as a way of true pricing food? https://www.ifoam-eu.org/sites/default/files/ifoameu_final_study_on_taxation_as_a_tool_towards_true_cost_accounting.pdf
Report about EU policy options to reduce CO2 eq emissions from livestock with 20%. Three options are presented: emission standards, emission trading and a livestock levy per ton CO2-emisson
Feedback wrote a report about the financial sector supporting the meat and dairy industries and the links with GHG-emissions. https://feedbackglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/FeedbackReport-ButcheringPlanet-Jul20-HighRes.pdf
Gren et al. (2021): Refunding of a climate tax on food consumption in Sweden: This paper examines the implications of imposing a climate tax on food consumption in Sweden combined with refunding of the tax revenues to farmers for selected agricultural activities enhancing ecosystem services: restoration of drained peatland (carbon sequestration), maintenance of grassland (biodiversity), and construction of wetlands (nutrient regulation). A partial equilibrium model of the agricultural sector is used to assess economic and environmental effects. The results show that the introduction of a climate tax corresponding to the existing Swedish CO2 tax of 115 euros per tonne carbon dioxide equivalent reduces total emissions from food consumption by 4.4% without any refunding of tax revenues. Refunding with payments for all ecosystems enhances the carbon sink by an amount equivalent to 57% of CO2e emissions from food consumption, and results in net benefits in the tax refund system for the agricultural sector as a whole, but is regressive where farmers in regions with relatively high incomes receive proportionally much of the net benefits.
Meating the Climate Challenge (2021): Why supermarkets must urgently cut their meat and dairy sales:
Key messages of the article:
- Addressing food system emissions is essential to meeting climate goals to remain below 1.5°C of warming.
- Supporting sustainable diets by eating less meat and dairy is a ‘low cost, no regrets’ measure to meet food system climate mitigation goals.
- Due to their enormous influence in the food environment, it is unlikely that the UK will achieve rapid reductions in meat and dairy consumption without urgent action from retailers.
- Evidence shows that a range of measures could help retailers meet ambitious year on year targets to reduce UK meat and dairy consumption by at least half by 2030.
Chatham House commissioned a consumer survey in 12 countries about public awareness of meat and dairy and climate change and policy proposals. A majority of consumers in the 12 countries expect politicians to act.
Transition from Animal-Based to Plant-Based Food Production to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture—The Case of Denmark
Curbing emissions from agriculture, and especially from livestock production, is essential in order to fulfil the Paris Agreement. Shifting to a diet lower in meat consumption has been emphasized in several studies. Based on the Planetary Health Diet developed by the EAT-Lancet Commission, this study investigates the effect on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions of transitioning the Danish agricultural system, which currently relies mainly on meat and dairy production, towards increased focus on plant-based foods, combined with replacement or reduction of imported feed and carbon sequestration on previous agricultural land. The study finds a large potential for reducing emissions from Danish agriculture through implementation of the Planetary Health Diet, with reductions of up to 20.2 Mt CO2e (CO2 equivalents) (86.5%) under the most ambitious conditions. This demonstrates the potentially large benefits from transitioning towards a more plant-based European agricultural sector and underscores the need for European and national policies incentivizing this transition.
Read the report here: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/19/8228
'The True Cost and True Price of Food' (2021).
Ensuring sustainable food systems requires vastly reducing its environmental and health costs while making healthy and sustainable food affordable to all. One of the central problems of current food systems is that many of the costs of harmful foods are externalized, i.e. are not reflected in market prices.
Read the findings of the report here.
Sustainable food production and consumption (focus on protein). 2021:
Read the articles here.
Sustainable Protein Production and Consumption: Pigs or Peas? (book). 2006:
Sustainable Protein Production and Consumption: Pigs or Peas? is a book that presents and explores the PROFETAS programme for development of a more sustainable food system by studying the feasibility of substituting meat with plant based alternatives. The emphasis is on improving the food system by reducing the use of energy, land, and freshwater, at the same time limiting the impacts on health and animal welfare associated with intensive livestock production. It is clear that such a new perspective calls not only for advanced environmental and technological research, but also for in-depth societal research, as the acceptance of new food systems is critically contingent on perceptions and attitudes of modern consumers. In this unique multidisciplinary setting, PROFETAS has opened up pathways for a major transition in protein food production and consumption, not by just analyzing the food chain, but rather by exploring the entire agricultural system, including biomass for energy production and the use of increasingly scarce freshwater resources. The study presented here is intended to benefit every stakeholder in the food chain from policymakers to consumers, and it offers guiding principles for a transition towards an ecologically and socially sustainable food system from a multi-level perspective.
Read it here.
Want to read or know more about scientific research from the VU? Visit their website here.
Blindspot. How lack of action on livestock methane undermines climate targets (2021).
Our planet’s precious climate system is on the verge of irreversible disruption. Climate scientists have conrmed
that a focus on methane (CH4) emissions – in addition to measures designed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2 )emissions – will be crucial in determining whether global heating can be kept below 1.5°C (as per the 2015 Paris Agreement) and whether reaching climate tipping points can be avoided.1
Although the livestock sector is by far the largest contributor of human-induced methane emissions,2 our report reveals that both the biggest meatand dairy-producing countries – with some of the highest methane emissions – and the largest meat and dairy corporations are oblivious to the problem. They are failing to set ambitious targets and implement measures to reduce methane emissions in the livestock sector. Without prompt and radical commitments from key methane emitters, emissions from livestock will put pledges to keep temperature rises below 1.5°C by 2030 in jeopardy.
Read the article HERE.