The National Food Strategy Part 2 has been published which sets a proposal for a tax on sugar and salt sold for use in processed foods or in restaurants and catering businesses.
In total the report makes 14 recommendations, including the sugar and salt reformulation tax as its number one recommendation in a bid to tackle obesity and health problems such as heart disease.
The report states “The Government should introduce a 3/kg tax on sugar and a 6/kg tax on salt sold for use in processed foods or in restaurants and catering businesses. This would create an incentive for manufacturers to reduce the levels of sugar and salt in their products, by reformulating their recipes or reducing their portion sizes.
“The tax would apply to all sugar and other ingredients used for sweetening (such as syrups and fruit extracts, but not raw fruit) at a rate of £3/kg. This is approximately the same rate as the current Soft Drinks Industry Level (SDIL), which the sugar tax would replace.”
“It would apply at a rate of £6/kg to all salt sold for use in food manufacturing. As salt is used in much smaller quantities than sugar, the rate needs to be higher in order to achieve and impact”
The report, written by Henry Dimbleby with input from advisors makes the following 14 recommendations:
- Introduce a Sugar and Salt Reformulation Tax. Use some of the revenue to help get fresh fruit and vegetables to low-income families.
- Introduce mandatory reporting for large food companies.
- Launch a new “Eat and Learn” initiative for schools.
- Extend eligibility for free school meals.
- Fund the Holiday Activities and Food programme for the next three years.
- Expand the Healthy Start scheme.
- Trial a “Community Eatwell” Programme, supporting those on low incomes to improve their diets.
- Guarantee the budget for agricultural payments until at least 2029 to help farmers transition to more sustainable land use.
- Create a Rural Land Use Framework based on the three compartment model.
- Define minimum standards for trade, and a mechanism for protecting them.
- Invest £1 billion in innovation to create a better food system.
- Create a National Food System Data programme.
- Strengthen Government procurement rules to ensure that taxpayer money is spent on healthy and sustainable food.
- Set clear targets and bring in legislation for long-term change.
The first part of the two-part review was published last summer and looked at food as part of trade deals and farming payments.