196% Tax Increase on Most Plant Milks as New Dutch Law Groups Oat Milk With Coca-Cola

Dutch tax on oat milk

A new tax in The Netherlands is set to take effect from January 1st 2024, that includes most forms of plant milks but excludes dairy milk as they are “considered a basic necessity of life”.

As reported today by the highest-circulated daily newspaper in The Netherlands, De Telegraaf, the tax sees no difference between coca-cola and plant milk made from almonds, oats, or coconuts. 

When questioned by the Party for the Animals, a Dutch political group focusing on animal welfare and animal rights, State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen said: “The primary purpose of this increase is to raise more tax revenue…”

The 196% increase (from 9 to 26 cents per litre) excludes soy and pea-based drinks as they meet the “protein content requirements” and “other plant-based alternatives contain too little protein”.

Van Ooijen goes on to mention the Disc of Five, which is a ‘Scoring for Health’ program that encourages a diet that includes ‘lean cuts of meat and mince’, and ‘milk, cheese and yoghurt as a way of adopting a healthy lifestyle. 

Unlike the sugar tax in the UK, the amount of sugar in a soft drink does not play a role in the tax, but a study is being conducted to determine whether or not the tax discourages customers from drinking sugary soft drinks.

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