Work Package 3

Food taxation

In countries where average meat consumption is high, replacing meat with healthy, plant-based foods can provide substantial health and environmental benefits. Taxes on animal-derived foods, and tax reductions on healthy, plant-based foods can facilitate this shift. However, this approach, while popular among researchers in the field, has proved to be politically controversial. In this work package, we aim to gain a better understanding of the political and societal controversies around the taxation of animal-derived versus plant-based foods. On this basis, we will derive recommendations on how best to contribute to an evidence-based and nuanced debate that allows citizens, stakeholders, and policy-makers to form informed opinions on this topic. We will also explore how existing controversies can be taken into account in the design and framing of relevant policy proposals.

To this aim, we will conduct a comparative qualitative framing analysis of the public debate around the taxation of animal- versus plant-based foods in Germany. We aim to identify key policy actors and the core arguments and narrative frames they employ through a qualitative framing analysis of articles from diverse national newspapers and trade press outlets.

Publications from this work package:

Moerschel K, Leibinger A, Hagge A, Serong J, Stiller S, Fesenfeld L, Hawkins B, von Philipsborn P: The German media debate on taxing animal-based foods: a qualitative framing analysis. Open Science Framework (OSF) 2023. (Online, open access)