The petition asks the government to lower VAT on organic food to 0% by 1 January 2019, instead of increasing it from 6% tot 9%, as is the current plan. Volkert Engelsman pointed out the high hidden costs of industrial agriculture. “The cost of water purification is very high as a result of all the pesticides leaking into it. Germany has lost 76% of all its insects in the last 27 years. That indicates a collapse of the ecosystem. there are numerous other examples. Organic farmers have been showing for decades that they can grow food without glyphosate, neonics and other disastrous chemicals.”
In recent years Eosta has invested considerable effort in True Cost Accounting, to make the hidden costs of food production known. In 2017 Engelsman was therefore elected nr 1 in the Dutch Sustainability Top-100. The "True Cost Accounting for Food, Farming & Finance" report, commissioned by Eosta and executed by EY and Soil & More Impacts together with the FAO, showed that the hidden costs for organic agriculture are lower than for non-organic production when you look at the impact on climate, soil, water and health.