The world’s first salt and sugar reformulation tax could be added to foods sold in shops, cafes and canteens in England as part of a new national food strategy.
Government-commissioned study says a tax of £ 3 per kg on sugar and a tax of £ 6 per kg on salt sold for use in processed foods or in restaurants and catering businesses would encourage manufacturers reformulate their recipes or reduce the size of their portions.
He says the food we eat and the way it is produced is hurting the health of the nation and “causing terrible damage to the planet,” and we need to implement major changes.
Taxes on salt and sugar, which the review says are expected to be introduced before the end of the decade, could add 1 pence to the price of a packet of crisps and 7.5 pence to a small bar of chocolate.
He says the tax would reduce the amount of salt and sugar used by the food industry, and any money raised should be spent to give free school meals to an additional 1.1 million children per day, fund holiday activities. and food clubs, and support healthier diets for those in the most disadvantaged communities.
It also highlights the health issues and the cost to the economy of poor nutrition, and says more should be done to help disadvantaged families eat healthy foods.
This morning, report author Henry Dimbleby told Sky News that the tax was part of a plan to create a “food system that is good for us and good for the planet.”
He added: “Everyone in this country thinks… the way to solve obesity and diet related diseases is through education, exercise and willpower and the people who don’t have it. will deserve what is inflicted upon them… but in fact none of this is true.
“Exercise doesn’t help you lose weight … and there is a strong genetic component in some people that makes them particularly drawn to these foods.
“Businesses market them, they eat more, and businesses spend more money on them – you have to break this business cycle and that’s what the tax is supposed to do.”
He said he was confident that many companies would reformulate their recipes to avoid passing higher costs on to consumers.
Andrew Burton, the owner of Mannion & Co Café in York is not convinced the idea will work.
“We’ve looked at everything we do, we’ve cut down on salt, we’ve cut down on sugar, but only so far can you go before someone says’ This is bland, can we. -we have the salt, can we have the sugar, “and they just put it on their own,” he said.
The report warns that the amount of meat we eat must be reduced by 30% in a decade to free up land for carbon storage and nature conservation.
He is also urging the government to invest £ 50million in developing alternative proteins that can be used as sustainable options in ready meals, such as lab-grown meat or plant-based foods, which could create thousands of dollars. ‘jobs in factories or agriculture.
The government is also expected to provide between £ 500 million and £ 700million per year, or about a third of the total program, to pay farmers to manage the land to actively store carbon and restore nature.
Robert Campbell, who has been raising cattle on his farm in Stokesley near Thirsk for more than 50 years, said farmers will adapt and change as their needs change.
“Like any other business, we produce what people want, and if they don’t want it, we don’t produce it because there is no market,” he said.
The review was commissioned by the government to advise ministers in England, with decentralized countries developing their own food strategies, although it is supposed to influence decision-making across the UK.