Scrap VAT to make organic products more attractive, sector says

The organic sector wants to abolish the 9 percent VAT on organic products, to make these products cheaper and therefore more attractive to consumers. They also want the government to launch a major advertising campaign to explain the values and importance of organic farming to consumers, the sector said in a 10-point plan it intends to submit to Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture next month, NOS reports.

The sector came up with this plan after market researcher IRI showed that organic products only accounted for 3.21 percent of the over 40 billion euros spent in supermarkets last year. That is barely any higher than the 3.19 percent market share organic products had in 2018.

“In this way we will not achieve the European target. By 2030 we must have an average market share of 25 percent. Extra efforts are desperately needed,” Michael Wilde, director of trade association Bionext, said to NOS. “For a healthy, fair and sustainable agricultural system, we need a strong policy, focused on both consumption and production. We are therefore calling on politicians to set up a kind of task force with us.”

Part of that policy needs to be an information campaign, Wilde said. In other countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria, major government campaigns explain the importance of organic food. Consumers there have much more knowledge about organic food. It is high time that this happened here too,” he said