NZBC Statement: New Zealand Beverage Council Responds to UK Move on Sugar Tax

Wednesday 17 March 2016

New Zealand Beverage Council President Olly Munro has responded with disappointment to the UK government’s announcement that it will introduce a 25p per litre levy to sweetened beverages overnight.

Munro says that New Zealand manufacturers operate under effective self-regulation and support any social or legislative initiatives that make sense. This one, he says, would not.

“The rise in obesity globally is a complex phenomenon with many causes - including declining levels of physical activity,” says Munro. “If the sole aim is to reduce obesity, this move flies in the face of evidence from around the world which shows taxes do very little, if anything, to reduce sugar and calorie intake or obesity levels."

“We believe that a holistic awareness about our general health and well-being is a far more effective tool for dealing with excessive sugar consumption than taxation. That’s why consumers are demanding low sugar alternatives and why manufacturers are responding well with product reformulation, smaller pack sizes and increased promotion of low and no calorie drinks.

“We are taking a firm stance because we believe that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would only perpetuate the myth that they are the cause of the obesity problem in this country. They are not. Nutritional literacy, moderation and exercise are key to helping fix this particular health issue. Taxation is not part of the equation,” he says.

For more information, contact:

Emma Morrison
Senior Account Director
Wright Communications Limited

Mobile:  64 21 916 647

© The New Zealand Beverage Council (Inc.), 2016.

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