Tax meat instead of income, says Beyond Meat millionaire

The founder of the world’s largest meat alternatives company has suggested a tax could tackle the “negative” effects of meat consumption.

It comes weeks after the measure was ruled out by the author of a government-commissioned food report.

Beyond Meat chief executive Ethan Brown, thought to be worth £340 million, said a meat levy “does appeal to me”.

He told the BBC that it made more sense to tax meat than “things we want more of such as income.”

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“The whole notion of a Pigouvian tax, which is to tax negative […] things that are high in externalities, I think is an interesting one,” Brown continued.

However, he admitted that he was not an economist and would “leave it to others to work out the details.”

While farming can produce greenhouse gases such as methane, critics argue a meat tax would raise the cost of living and hit poorer families hardest.

Brown also said that, even without a tax, shoppers were starting to eat less meat for health or environmental reasons.

“We’re getting more and more penetration into the broadest swath of the market, which is people who are consuming animal protein,” he claimed.

“They’re deciding to cut down on their consumption of animal-based products.” 

It comes after Henry Dimbleby, author of the National Food Strategy, dismissed a meat tax as “politically impossible”.

An earlier draft of the report, seen by The Sun in June, suggested the move could cause rioting.

However, Dimbleby said people would have to cut their meat consumption by a third for the UK to reach its “net zero” target by 2050.

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