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Meat tax 'unnecessary' when primary sector already making emission cuts, farming industry says

Beef and Lamb New Zealand says a potential meat tax in the United Kingdom would be "unnecessary" when the primary sector is already doing their bit to cut emissions. 

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Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s Jeremy Baker talked about how the meat and dairy industry are helping reduce their significant carbon footprint. Source: Breakfast

A report by the UK's Climate Change Committee is proposing a tax could help reduce consumption of meat and dairy products by 20 per cent.

The Committee said the 'meat tax' could also prevent seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by the industry. 

However, Beef and Lamb NZ spokesperson Jeremy Baker told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning the "blunt" proposal by the Climate Change Committee would not be needed, when the industry has already cut their emissions by 30 per cent since 1990. 

"We are also working with the Government in New Zealand to continue to reduce our emissions," he said.

"We are doing a lot of things to address the global challenge of climate change but not in this sort of blunt way suggested in the UK." 

He said the industry was committed to continuing to reduce their emissions and that they have already being doing a lot so far. 

"In New Zealand we are some of the most efficent producers in terms of greenhouse gases, so you wouldn't want to reduce that and replace it with a less efficient production from somewhere else in the world." 

Mr Baker said there was a bright future for sustainable farming and that was what the industry has to focus on.