Beyond Meat boss Ethan Brown backs meat tax It comes just after the UK government has been urged to encourage the nation to reduce meat consumption - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permisson.

Beyond Meat Boss Backs Tax On Items Having Adverse Effect On Society: ‘Not Just Meat’


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Ethan Brown, the founder, and boss of global vegan meat giant Beyond Meat has indicated he is ‘generally in favor’ of a tax on meat consumption as it could have benefits for society.

When questioned in an interview, he said: “I think is an interesting one. I’m not an economist but overall intuitively that type of thing does appeal to me, not just for meat.”

Beyond Meat boss

A ‘pigouvian’ tax – similar to that of sugar and tobacco – would have benefits on wider society, Brown revealed.

Moreover, it is especially important for the younger generation who are typically more concerned about climate change than their older counterparts.

‘For a few dollars at the center of your plate, you can communicate what you’re about. You don’t have to go and buy that Tesla right away or some other electric vehicle. You can start by just doing something really simple, which is changing the protein at the center of your plate’, Brown told the BBC.

It comes as 93 percent of people buying the Beyond Burger are also shopping for animal products, the businessman added.

Ultimately, he says this signals consumer demand as more people may be ‘uncomfortable’ with factory farming or concerned about their health.

Price parity

The success of an added meat charge would depend on ‘how significant’ it would be, Brown added.

Consumer demand is certainly on the rise, and the market is hiking too.

For example, the vegan meat industry grew twice as fast as meat over the pandemic. Furthermore, sales exceed a staggering $7 billion last year – and the value of plant-based meat alternatives hit $1.4 billion.

Additionally, analysis indicates vegan meat price parity is expected to come at some time between now and 2023.

To help this along, companies including Impossible Foods slashed prices to increase sales and acceptability.

Price is certainly vital for customers, and meat-eaters continue to overestimate the cost of plant-based products.

Meat tax

The UK government rejected calls for a tax on meat earlier this year. It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was urged to fight against carbon emissions.

But signals in a positive direction – in the UK at least – came with the release of the National Food Strategy Report last month.

In it, calls were made for the government to reduce the nation’s meat intake by 30 percent.

This is partially due to an effort to tackle environmental issues. While previous reports of its kind have proposed sugar and salt taxes, the 2021 version made no mention of a potential meat tax in the future.

This article was updated on 3/08/21 to make a correction. Ethan Brown does not endorse a tax on meat but he said he is ‘generally in favor’ of taxing negative things that have adverse effects on society

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
11 months ago

Not trying to promote his own rubbish foods by any chance? Why not tax all foods produced by industrial agriculture ( plant and animal ) and subsidise all foods produced by regenerative organics (plant and animal )? That way we might make some genuine progress.

11 months ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

That wouldn’t be fair. Animal-ag foods are far more harmful to animals themselves (domestic and wild), human health, and environment than plant-based foods.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
11 months ago
Reply to  rodentx2

I can’t remember mentioning “Animal-Ag”, only regenerative organics, ie. integrated farming.

11 months ago

Quit trying fo force veganism on People its called free choice pricks, how many animals if the farmyard variety would their be if not for consumption a couple in each zoo

11 months ago
Reply to  lolcat

Choice? Do animals get the choice when their throats are slit!
Plus educate yourself on differences between their, there and they’re fool

11 months ago

Who do people think they are? Taxing meat because it would benefit the vegan industry. Sounds like monopolisation to me. People should have freedom of choice of what they want to eat, end of.

11 months ago

What utter bozzocks, he is only trying to line his own pocket.

11 months ago

Technically speaking they already spend our tax money on subsidies for a product destroying the environment. The only way to protect farmers is to introduce a tax on items to get the market to change pace. Plant based food are hands down cheaper to produce across the board. The issue is that you don’t see the extra cost of meat because of the subsidies. I think not dying from environmental damage. That isn’t vegan issue. Its an everybody issue. Consumer goods are perhaps the easiest path to change.