The non-profit ProVeg Spain has conducted a poll of Spaniards regarding the taxes imposed on plant-based milk, and 86.1% did not know that the tax was higher than for animal milk. Also, 90.5% of the people who participated in the survey believe that it is unfair that the VAT on plant-based milk is higher. These results come after a new law reduced the VAT of several products, including animal milk but not its plant-based alternatives, which was passed on 24th January 2023 by the Spanish Congress. The VAT of cow’s milk used to be 4%, but it is now 0%.

Rubén Pérez, head of campaigns at the environmental and animal protection organisation Franz Weber Foundation (FWF), said: “The non-reduction of the tax rate on vegetable milk and their preparations is to support a mega-industry that devours the planet, generates more impact in the form of greenhouse gases and supposes a terrible objectification of animals, who are sentient beings reduced to simple objects to squeeze.” This organisation sent a letter to the Ministries of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Labour asking to reconsider the position of not lowering VAT on plant-based milk, but according to Revista Aral, so far none of the ministerial departments has responded.

In 2021, the Spanish Congress rejected proposals to ban certain terms such as “cheese” or “burger” on the labels for plant-based products, which the far-right party Vox put forward after the EU had rejected them. EU law already prohibits the use of some terms, including “milk” or “cheese”, for plant-based alternatives of dairy products, but in 2020 Amendment 171 sought to further tighten the rules to go beyond dairy to include terms like “burger” or “sausage”. However, in May 2022, this amendment was rejected by the European Parliament, the European Council, and The European Commission.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.