Showing results for: Beverages
Beverages are drinks. They exist in a wide variety, are alcoholic or nonalcoholic, and come from a range of sources. After plain water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world, with about 6 billion cups drunk per day. Many drinks are associated with specific sustainability issues. For example, coffee is frequently responsible for tropical deforestation, pesticide spillage and substantial water use for cultivation. As many drinks provide no nutrients necessary for human survival, their consumption, and the associated resource use for their production, could arguably be considered superfluous. With the growth in sugary drinks consumption around the world, there is also an associated increase in obesity and associated non-communicable diseases; to tackle this, some countries are implementing taxes on sugary drinks. Tea and coffee production have also received much negative attention for their association with low labour standards and even slave labour. Various certification schemes such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance have attempted to improve conditions for workers and the environment in these industries.
This article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses three synthetic (or “molecular”) alcoholic drinks produced by US startup Endless West: wine, whiskey and sake. The drinks are produced by mixing plain alcohol (from corn) with natural flavourings (e.g. from plants or yeasts) rather than traditional distillation methods (e.g. fermenting grapes to make wine).
According to a survey of US beer drinkers, 59% would be willing to pay more for beer that has been brewed using more sustainable processes, such as energy efficiency or carbon saving measures. On average, respondents were willing to pay $0.22 more per 12-ounce bottle than the price they already paid for their favourite beer ($1.69 per 12-ounce bottle).
Alcohol production, packaging and transport in Sweden has a carbon footprint of 52 kg CO2 eq. per person and accounts for around 3% of dietary emissions, according to a new paper by FCRN member Elinor Hallström. Per litre of beverage, wine, strong wine and liquor have higher carbon footprints than beer. This study does not include emissions from retail or consumer activities.
Concerns about the links between trade and investment agreements and the spread of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have seen increasing scholarly attention in the past years. Reviewing 44 low- and middle-income countries over 13 years, this paper aims to provide a generalizable analysis of how trade and investment liberalisation has affected the growth in sales of SSBs, contributing to the evidence base on how international trade impacts health.
This short blog by Michael Hallsworth from the UK’s Behavioural Insight Team, discusses the early impacts of the upcoming soft drinks levy by the UK government. This levy aims to reduce sugar intakes from drinks.
In a new report, entitled ‘Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates subsidies and taxes on healthy and unhealthy foods respectively. One of the report’s major conclusions was
The Oxfam briefing Feeding Climate Change: what the Paris Agreement Means for Food & Beverage Companies looks at commodities and climate change and policy from the perspective of the food and beverage industry.
In this correspondence article in The Lancet researchers from Universities of Oxford and Cambridge analyse the conclusions of the Green budget report. The Green budget is an annual report published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), ICAEW and the Nuffield foundation, which considers the issues and challenges facing the UK as its Government sets the country’s budget for the coming financial year.
This article in the UK newspaper, the Guardian, tells the story of how Mexico implemented its soda tax in 2014, the political debates that surrounded the decision and the lobbying efforts and reactions of the country’s powerful soda industry.
A new report by the Commons’ Health Committee discusses the potential of implementing a sugary drink tax as a way of combating child obesity. Sugary drinks are the largest sources of sugar for 11 to 18 year-olds and there is increasing concern over the effects of sugar on people’s health, particularly the health of children and teenagers.
This study compared the impact that a 20 per cent sales tax and a 20 cents per litre excise tax on beverages such as carbonated non-diet soft drinks, cordials and fruit drinks would have on moderate and high consumers. It found that although high consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages have the least elastic demand, they drink so much that they are up against household budget limits, and therefore adding tax would bring down their consumption.
Food taxes & subsidies are effective at improving diets, according to a systematic review carried out by Australian researchers and published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The systematic review analyses evidence from research published between January 2009 and March 2012 looking at the effectiveness of food taxes and subsidies on consumption. Included in the review were only papers assessing a specific food tax and those which directly and prospectively observed consumer responses to a fiscal policy intervention.