11 Oct 2016 Response to Government Soft Drinks Industry Levy consultation
We all know that sugary drinks are a key catalyst in rising obesity levels across the country, with a particular concern surrounding their role in the development of childhood obesity – many soft drinks contain more sugar than a child’s daily recommended intake in just one serving. With increasing pressure from the public health community, NGO’s and health professionals, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy as part of their long awaited Childhood Obesity Strategy, coming into action in April 2018, with the revenue to be invested back into schools sports and healthy eating programmes.
The levy will apply on pre-packaged soft drinks with a total added sugar content of +5g per 100ml and an elevated rate for those containing +8g per 100ml, however, fruit juices, fruit juice concentrate, milk-based drinks and alcoholic beverages will be excluded from the levy. In response to these plans, the Government hopes to encourage the food and drink industry to reformulate their products by reducing the added sugar content, resulting in their products being exempt from the legislation. However, the Soft Drinks Association, manufacturers and retailers have strongly opposed the introduction of the levy, claiming it will do little to combat childhood obesity whilst putting thousands of jobs at risk as a result of reduced sales and profits in the industry. It is expected that opposition groups such as ‘Face the Facts, Can the Tax’ will continue to ramp up the pressure in the run up to the Soft Drink Industry Levy consultation deadline.
Therefore it is vital that all interested partners contribute to the consultation to ensure the levy is introduced. Food Active has prepared a response to the levy consultation which you are more than welcome to use. The deadline is Thursday 13th October, let’s ‘Tax the Can’ and help people Give Up Loving Pop!
You can find a link to our response here.