Plant-based food charity Proveg International is calling for an end to what it calls the ‘unequal and unfair’ rates of VAT of plant-based milks compared with the lower rates applied to cow’s milk.
The group says that in six countries across Europe, VAT on plant-based milk is significantly higher than on cow’s milk.
This, says ProVeg, is despite the dairy industry being a major contributor to climate change. Research by the group shows that one litre of cow’s milk requires 22 times more water and roughly 12 times more land, while emitting three times more greenhouse gas emissions than one litre of soya milk. Other types of plant milk such as oat and rice milk, it says, are similarly sustainable.
We urge these European governments to level the playing field by taxing plant-based milk at the same rate as cow’s milk
“We urge these European governments to level the playing field by taxing plant-based milk at the same rate as cow’s milk – at the very least. People are literally paying a higher price for wanting to protect our planet and for being climate-conscious,” says Sebastian Joy, co-founder and CEO of ProVeg International.
“We are in the midst of the climate crisis, yet this outdated VAT policy stifles plant-based innovation and competition. It is unfair and inequitable and in urgent need of reform if we are serious about making progress with climate change mitigation.
“Instead of indirectly subsidizing dairy products that we know to be so damaging to our planet, we ought to be helping, supporting, and encouraging more sustainable alternatives … not taxing them at a much higher rate.”