Denmark to impose sweet tax

nammiFatty foods and candy could soon be swelling the coffers of the Danish state by up to DKK 1.5 billion per year with the introduction of an ‘unhealthy food tax’ at the beginning of 2010.

A new study by the Confederation of Danish Industry’s Food Branch (DI) reveals that a range of taxes on chocolate, sodas, sweets and ice cream would generate well over 1 billion kroner, making Danish indulgence the costliest in the entire EU.

There are also suggestions to impose a saturated fat tax on butter, margarine, vegetable oil and cheese of DKK 25 per kg, in line for introduction in mid 2010. This will represent an overall increase of 27 percent in food charges says the report in the Copenhagen Post.

While Denmark is one of five EU countries that have soda taxes, it is alone in imposing charges on chocolate and candy. The mooted saturated fat tax is also unique in Europe.

Ole Linnet Juel, DI branch director, has expressed concerns that the new taxes could mean more people travelling abroad for their sugar fixes. “The argument to introduce the new taxes is based on health, but one could wonder if it will have the desired effect when the price difference on candy and soda in Denmark, Germany and Sweden will be even greater,” said Juel.

Danish products may suffer in terms of competitiveness if shoppers do cross the border to stock up on sweets.

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