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New tax on fat content in meat

Already a country with a high level of taxation, Denmark will soon have to accommodate a new tax – a surcharge on fat content in meat and other food.

Danish Minister for Taxation, Troels Lund Poulsen has proposed the new fat tax to encourage healthy eating habits. The original bill proposed an average fat threshold for meat, but after numerous objections, this has been changed to allow producers to calculate the tax based on the actual fat content of different cuts. For instance, a kilo of pork chops will be taxed lighter than a kilo of bacon.

Despite the amendment, the Danish food industry remains sceptical. The Danish Agriculture and Food Council states: “The revised bill includes some improvements, but will lead to administrative problems for everyone in the food branch and not least, will create confusion and uncertainty amongst consumers.”

The scheme to calculate tax according to actual fat content is optional. Meat producers can still choose to use the average thresholds – an option that the tax ministry says will reduce the administrative burden on smaller producers. Particually lean cuts of meat will be exempt because they fall below the threshold.

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