Denmark levies world’s first fat tax
Denmark on Saturday became the first country in the world to impose a fat tax after a week in which consumers hoarded butter, pizza, meat and milk to avoid the immediate effects.
“We have had to stock up with tonnes of butter and margarine in order to be able to supply outlets,” Soeren Joergensen of Arla Distribution told AFP.
The new tax, designed by Denmark’s outgoing government as a health issue to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods, will add 16 kroner ($2.87, 2.15 euros) per kilo (2.2 pounds) of saturated fats in a product.
This means an increase in the price of a pack of 250 grammes of butter, for example, by 2.20 kroner to more than 18 kroner.
“It has been a chaotic week with a lot of empty shelves. People have been filling their freezers,” Christian Jensen of an independent local Copenhagen supermarket told AFP.
“But actually I don’t think the tax will make that much difference. If people want to buy a cake, they will buy it. But right now they’re saving money,” he added.
The new tax will be levied on all products including saturated fats — from butter and milk to pizzas, oils, meats and pre-cooked foods — in a costing system that Denmark’s Confederation of Industries (DI) says is a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets.