We follow the meat money

By : Eating Better
Oct 11, 2016

We're asking how can public money be better spent to encourage less and better meat and dairy and more plant-based eating, inline with health recommendations and climate change reduction targets.

Brexit is shining a spotlight on the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the financial incentives that underpin our unsustainable food and farming systems. At Eating Better, we’ve teamed up with the Institute for European Environmental Policy to ask how the CAP and other EU trade policies influence the consumption and production of meat & dairy, and whether public money could be better spent to ensure subsidies deliver public goods: for health, environmental enhancement and mitigating climate change.

Our Follow the Meat Money project has been designed to bring greater transparency to an area of fiscal policy that remains mysterious to many – the Common Agricultural Policy. We want to understand – and help others to understand – what changes would offer stronger incentives for shifting our consumption towards less and better meat and dairy and more plant-based eating, inline with health recommendations and climate change reduction targets.

Why, for example, is European Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan pledging €15million to promote meat consumption at the same time as the EU has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement to keep temperature rise to 1.50C – an impossible task without dietary shifts? And why, as Greenpeace’s recent investigation shows, has CAP rewarded major landowners on the basis of how much land they own, with only minor weight given to environmental protection and sustainable food supplies in the rural economy?

Our purpose is to provide research and recommendations – which will be published later this year –  to policy makers, the food and farming sectors as well as to our own civil society networks.  We will keep you updated.

Sue Dibb is Coordinator of the Eating Better Alliance

For those interested in Brexit and food, the Food Research Collaboration has launched new resources – see here.