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·         UK: Meat tax would finish livestock industry says Bridgwater butcher

·         Brussels: Proposal to charge green tax on meat to offset environmental damage



Meat tax would finish livestock industry says Bridgwater butcher


Somerset's Country Gazette (UK) 

8th February 2020


Imposing a meat tax to help reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions would rapidly spell the end of livestock farming, the country’s top butcher has warned


Malcolm Pyne, from North Petherton, Somerset, said the idea could only have been proposed by people with absolutely no knowledge of how the meat market works.


The notion of a tax as a way of reducing sales and therefore the impact of methane-producing cattle on the environment has come from the Government’s Committee on Climate Change in a report on the way land use will have to alter if the country is to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2050.


It suggests, among other things, forcing airlines and oil companies to fund a gigantic tree-planting scheme and using more farmland to store carbon with the aim of reducing consumption of beef, lamb and dairy food by 20 per cent.


Changes in the way land is managed and breeding cows which produce less methane are also on the agenda.


But Mr Pyne – named the best butcher in Britain by the Meat Trades Journal – said researchers’ further suggestion of a meat tax as a disincentive should be struck off the list.


“If the Government really wants to see the end of the livestock industry this is the way to do it,” he said.


“The tax would fall hardest on independent butchers who would have no option but to pass it on. Supermarkets would be able to cover it by adding a penny onto soap powder or potatoes leaving the independent sector fatally exposed to cheap competition.


“Then once all the independents had closed farmers would be left entirely at the mercy of the supermarkets which would use all the old tricks, like cheap imports, to force prices down.


“And when you hear that one of the largest swede growers in the country has simply shut up shop because it’s more profitable to sit at home and do nothing then fight for a penny profit from a supermarket, you have some idea of what the future would be in store for farmers when that happened.


“One of the main outcomes would be a collapse in production with a need then to bring in even more imports in highly-polluting lorries.”


Mr Pyne said scientists were constantly over-stating the polluting effects of livestock farming because it was an easier target than oil companies or large industries...





Proposal to charge green tax on meat to offset environmental damage


Alan Hope, The Brussels Times

09 February 2020


Europeans should be asked to pay a tax of €0.42 a kilo on beef and veal, to offset the costs to the environment of raising cattle for human consumption, according to a proposal presented this week to the European Parliament by TAPP Coalition, a Dutch NGO.


The proposal also includes a tax on pork of €0.32/kg and on chicken of €0.15/kg. Those figures would apply on introduction of the tax, but would increase substantially after that: to €2.22/kg, €1.69/kg and €0.80/kg in 2025, and to €4.77/kg, €3.61/kg and €1.73/kg by 2030.


The sums involved, at least to begin with, seem small, but when taken into consideration beside the volumes of meat sold, they begin to mount up. Current production of beef and veal stands at 3.3 million tonnes; of pork at 10.8 million tonnes and of chicken at 8.5 million tonnes.


According to TAPP (True Animal Protein Price Coalition), the tax would only achieve its aim in the years to come, as the income diminished in line with a reduction in production brought about by the effect of increased prices on demand. So, in 2021, production would be barely affected, at respectively 3.3 million tonnes, 10.6 million tonnes and 8.5 million tonnes.


By 2025 the figures are forecast to fall to 2.6 million tonnes, 9 million tonnes and 7.8 million tonnes. And by 2030 to 1.1 million tonnes, 4.6 million tonnes and 5.1 million tonnes. And while the production falls, the taxation increases.


According to TAPP calculations, the tax – which they refer to as a sustainability charge – would bring net EU benefits of €8.8 billion a year by 2030. Member states would collect excise taxes of €32.2 billion.


That money could then be spent, the proposal suggests, to support farmers (31-46%), to lower VAT on fruit and vegetables (22-36%), to support low-income households (19%) and to help developing countries to increase nature reserves and forests, reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change (12%).


And the benefits go beyond income, the proposal concludes...


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