Dutch not yet ready to pay for sustainable food: Consumer Authority
Dutch consumers are unwilling to pay more for sustainable agricultural products with a cheaper alternative. The reluctance obstructs the development of sustainable agriculture production, Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM) concluded based on a survey.
The ACM believed that subsidies for farmers who produce sustainably and a VAT reduction on sustainable products could help consumers.
The ACM said that regulations limiting production are necessary. The costs for sustainable agricultural production are higher than for unsustainable products, according to the ACM.
Farmers earn back the higher production costs of sustainable food is more expensive. “But if the supply of organic products increases, more consumers must be prepared to pay a higher price. And that is the biggest obstacle at the moment,” ACM chairman Martijn Snoep said.
Dutch agriculture is mainly dependent on exports meaning foreign consumers should also be prepared to pay more. If consumers abroad are willing to pay more, it would allow for a more significant part of the Dutch agricultural sector to transition to sustainable production.
In Europe, sustainability labels should work together more often so that people in other countries are also willing to pay more for sustainably produced food.
The ACM conducted the annual survey at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) request and the Wageningen Economic Research partly carried it out.
Reporting by ANP.