Green MEP calls for VAT on processed and factory farmed meat post-Brexit

Molly, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture committee, is calling for drastic cuts to meat consumption and an extension of VAT to cover all processed and factory farmed meat. The call comes in the wake of a new warning that the projected growth in meat and dairy production will make meeting climate change targets impossible and ‘climate catastrophe inevitable’.

The report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) says that the top 20 meat and dairy corporations have higher greenhouse gas emissions than Germany and the top five higher emissions than oil giant Exxon. The IATP blames government and corporate policies which support rapid growth of industrial meat and dairy production and consumption around the world.

Molly Scott Cato MEP said:

“It is clear that we need to change our eating habits and reduce our meat consumption, but also challenge the corporate giants and their damaging policies, if we are to keep the global temperature rise to less than 2°C. For those of us who do eat meat, we need to eat less of it and eat better quality meat when we do. Applying VAT on processed and factory farmed meat could be used to subsidise healthier foods so everyone can access affordable healthy fruit and vegetables. It would also act as an incentive to small-scale and organic farmers and hold the giant meat and dairy producers to account for their poor standards. This was one of the key measures proposed in a report I commissioned on farming post-Brexit.”

Dr Scott Cato warned that Brexit could further encourage global meat and dairy corporations to expand in the UK and undermine the country’s many small-scale farmers. She said:

“The giant meat and dairy corporations produce vast amounts of highly subsidised meat and dairy products in a handful of countries. They then export their surpluses to the rest of the world, undercutting millions of small scale farmers across the globe. When Brexiteers proclaim cheaper food post-Brexit we should be clear what this means: it will be a result of some dodgy trade deals with countries that will flood our market with low quality meat and dairy, produced by corporations that use industrial and factory farming methods. This is bad news for consumer health and animal welfare and will devastate the small-scale farmers who work hard to meet much higher EU standards.”