Dutch organisations promoting healthy eating habits are calling for their government to remove VAT from fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, there are already several European countries that have taken this step. These include Ireland, Malta, and the UK. Elsewhere, the rate is lower for fresh fruits and vegetables than for other products in some countries like Spain (4%), Latvia (5%) and Poland (5%), according to data published by EC Europe. EU regulations allow for a so-called special rate.
The Dutch are not consuming enough vegetables and are lagging behind the other Member States in this regard. Only around 30% of over-fifteen-year-olds surveyed reported that they eat fresh vegetables (excluding potatoes and juices) at least once a day. By contrast, the neighbouring Belgians are among the highest consumers of fresh vegetables, with over 70% reporting that they eat fresh vegetables at least once daily.