The group said the tax revenue from sugar-heavy water-based drinks could be put to good used in funding the public health campaigns to fight Australia’s ongoing obesity epidemic.
Talks about the sugar tax resurfaced this week when Victorian Liberal MP Russell Broadbent challenged his colleagues to consider implementing the measure. The Australian Greens also campaigned on sugar tax during this year’s federal election.
“Australia is in the middle of a public health epidemic, and we need to see more government intervention to try and tackle some of the root causes of the continuing increase in the amount of Australians who are overweight or obese,” said AUSVEG CEO Simon Bolles.
“As a nation, we need to get serious about our health. All options should be on the table – including the introduction of targeted, product-specific taxes that can raise valuable funds for preventative health measures, including eating more fresh vegetables.”
Sugar tax would also create an incentive for Australian consumers to incorporate healthier food options, including fresh vegetables, into their diet and support hardworking Australian vegetable growers.
“We want to encourage Australians to increase their consumption of fresh produce, including fresh vegetables, which are well-recognised for their health and nutritional benefits,” said Bolles. “The benefits of a balanced diet are universally acknowledged, and activities funded by a sugar tax could help encourage Australians to make the dietary choices that set them on the right path to a healthier life.”