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Use taxes to promote local food

There are many hidden costs in having mass produced low cost food, as some inspirations have shown. This concept is to leverage a sales tax on non-organic, non-local food products, and use the revenues to subsidise local food production.

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12 11

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As we have seen in some inspirations, local food and organically produced food are perceived as being expensive, and sometimes really are more expensive. However, hidden costs of the non-organic/non-local food products can make those actually more costly. Subsidies for mass-producers, sometimes even healthcare costs and environmental impact of long-distance transport should all be factored in. But that can be a difficult exercise. Putting a sales tax on non-organic and non-local food could help, especially if the revenues benefit local producers.

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In a UN report by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity it was estimated that in OECD countries alone we spend US$ 261 billion/year (2006-8) Removing bad subsidies that support intensive agricultural practices and using this money instead to subsidize organic food costs would be a great step to shifting consumer choices. Adding a tax on non-local and non-organic foods on top of that would be the icing on the cake.

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