“Meat tax” proposal creates controversy in Sweden

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th February 2013

Swedish agricultural authorities have suggested the implementation of a “meat tax” to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage environmental sustainability.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture last month suggested increasing the cost of meat products to reduce the average amount of meat consumed in Sweden.

Marit Paulsen who is a member of the Board as well as the Vice President of the European Parliament’s agricultural committee, said that she would like to halve the amount of meat consumed in Sweden.

Ms Paulsen has suggested that the average Swede shrink their consumption to 45 kilos of meat a year down from 87 kilos, the national average, – and said a tax may be the way to do it.

According to Swedish reports, the idea of a meat tax partly stemmed from a shortage of animal feed required for meat-production livestock. While grazing animals are required to preserve Swedish pastures, some agriculturalists are reported to be experiencing a “conflict of interest” between reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving Swedish pasture land.

Although there is no confirmation of a tax or what kind of price increase that Swedes could expect to pay for meat, Ms Paulsen believes that reducing the amount of meat consumed to that of what it was twenty years ago may be the solution.

The discussion over reducing the consumption of meat eaten in Sweden follows news last year of some schools in Stockholm, Sweden, banning butter from school canteens.

Sweden may implement a "meat tax" to reduce meat consumption in the country.