Green Week has started in Berlin: lower taxes for healthy food?

Green Week has started in Berlin: lower taxes for healthy food?

As of: 01/20/2023 4:41 pm

After a two-year break in Corona, Green Week in Berlin is starting again as a local event. At the start of the fair, Agriculture Minister Özdemir thanked farmers and renewed his VAT reduction plans.

Eating snacks, petting animals, tasting wines – this has not been possible in the virtual Green Week for the past two years. After the Corona break, the international food fair reopened its doors in a completely analogue way.

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, who opened the fair together with Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey, thanked farmers for ensuring the table was set every day. This cannot be taken for granted, because there are also people on earth “who have to go to bed hungry”, said the green politician.

Özdemir: Reduction of VAT on fruits and vegetables

Özdemir reaffirmed its zero VAT plan on fruits, vegetables and pulses. “I think it wouldn’t just be an important signal for healthy aging foods. It would also be a clear commitment to a change in agriculture and the food industry that does justice to protecting nature and the climate.”

It’s also what the “Já Enough” alliance demands, which announced a demonstration with 50 tractors and about 10,000 participants for Saturday. The merging of various organizations has demonstrated a social and climate-friendly agricultural turnaround. In addition to a tax on excessive profits for agricultural companies, the alliance also calls for GMO-free agriculture and an end to “climate-damaging subsidies”.

Start of the international food fair “Green Week” in Berlin

Tom Schneider, RBB, daily news at 5 pm, January 20, 2023

Greenpeace poll: Two-thirds for zero percent tax

The environmental organization Greenpeace presented a survey according to which 67% of respondents are in favor of the complete abolition of VAT on “climate-friendly plant-based foods”. The federal government must now implement this.

“This can motivate people with targeted tax breaks to consume more environmentally friendly food,” says the Greenpeace statement. In addition, everyone has the right to healthy food from sustainable sources, regardless of income. “Zero per cent VAT on fruits, vegetables, legumes and milk substitutes can make a significant contribution to this,” he continues.

Farmers association against different food tax rates

Özdemir’s plans call for animal products such as meat or milk to continue to be taxed at seven percent as before. The farmers’ association criticizes this and calls for a uniform VAT rate on food. “It may be lower than current rates, you can discuss the amount,” said farmer president Joachim Rukwied in the “Tagesspiegel”.

From his point of view, everything from zero to seven percent, the reduced rate, is justifiable, Rukwied said. “But we shouldn’t try to target consumption with different phrases.” It shouldn’t be the case that only higher-income consumers can afford meat.

During Green Week until January 29, farmers, the food industry, associations and politicians will discuss the future of food. 1400 exhibitors from 60 countries present their products on site.