The Dutch are not yet ready to pay for sustainable food: Consumers Authority

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Dutch consumers are unwilling to pay more for sustainable agricultural products with a cheaper alternative. Reluctance is hindering the development of sustainable agricultural production, the Dutch Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM) concluded on the basis of an investigation.

ACM believed that subsidies to farmers who produce sustainably and a reduction in VAT on sustainable products could help consumers.

ACM said regulations limiting production are needed. The costs of sustainable agricultural production are higher than those of unsustainable products, according to the ACM.

Farmers recoup the higher production costs of more expensive sustainable foods. “But if the supply of organic products increases, more consumers must be prepared to pay a higher price. And that’s the biggest obstacle at the moment, ”said ACM President Martijn Snoep.

Dutch agriculture depends mainly on exports, which means that foreign consumers should also be prepared to pay more. If consumers abroad are willing to pay more, this would allow a larger part of the Dutch agricultural sector to shift to sustainable production.

In Europe, sustainability labels should work together more often so that people in other countries are also willing to pay more for sustainably produced food.

The ACM carried out the annual survey at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) and was partly carried out by Wageningen Economic Research.


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