3 September 2015
FDF response to Jamie Oliver and Sustain petition for a sugary drinks tax
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Food and Drink Federation response to:
- New petition launched by Jamie Oliver, Sustain and Leon calling on Government to
tax sugary drinks
- 'Jamie's Sugar Rush' documentary
- Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and Leon Restaurants Ltd adoption of a 10p levy on
soft drinks with added sugar
Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, said:
“We applaud Jamie Oliver's personal commitment to improving public
health. Most of us in the food industry have a similar commitment. We agree
change is needed.
“I do find it inconsistent that the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and Leon
Restaurant Group, neither of which provide nutrition labelling on in-store
menus or support Government's drive to reduce calories1, have chosen to tax
customers choosing soft drinks.
“Additional burdensome taxes on foods or drinks, on top of the already
enforced 20% VAT on many foods and drinks, would be regressive, ineffective and
They are rejected by the public. This complex challenge needs a complex
one which involves and empowers people, not taxes them.
“Leading health experts and UK Government support a comprehensive approach
to tackling poor health, including balanced diets and physical exercise.
suggest that the documentary over-simplifies the obesity challenge which is far
more wide-ranging than any single ingredient, food or drink.“
Note to Editors:
Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal
- Further details of partners in the Department of Health's Public Health Responsibility Deal and how they have delivered on their pledges on alcohol, food, health at work
and physical activity.
Sugar consumption in the UK is on a downward trend
- Government's most recent Family Food Survey suggest that while intakes are above
government recommendations, intakes of non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) are on
long-term downward trend, with a 6.1% drop in intakes between 2010 and 2013.
(Non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) are similar to 'added' or 'free' sugars and
include sugars added by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and honey and
Far more low and no calorie soft drinks are sold in the UK than regular
- 57% of the UK soft drink market is low or zero calorie, 5% mid calorie, 38%
(Source: BSDA Annual Report)
- Soft drink companies have cut calories and sugars by 7% and 8% respectively over
the last three years. (Source: Kantar)
Additional taxes on foods and drinks
- In the UK soft drinks are already taxed at the standard VAT rate of 20%.
- Both Belgium and Denmark rejected the notion of a tax in 2013 and evidence from
France shows that while sales of soft drinks initially fell after a tax was
introduced in 2012 they have increased since.
- In Mexico in 2014, the sector saw a 2.5% fall in sales volumes which has reduced
calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages by 6.2 calories per person, per
day. (Sales figures Dec 2013-14, Asociación Nacional de Productores de
Aguas Carbonatadas, A. C. (ANPRAC) and Statistics National Institute (INEGI).
For more Information contact:
FDF press office
020 7420 7140 / 7118.
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