Only a few cents for the cold cuts, one euro for the sausages and not quite four euros for fresh chicken thighs: it is important for discounters to point out their own "banger prices" as colorfully and as extensively as possible in public spaces. For example through posters at the bus stop. It should be particularly cheap, especially cheaper than the competition. A tempting offer for customers who eat a lot of meat and want to pay little for it. But in the Dutch city of Haarlem, discounters will no longer be able to advertise themselves so easily with their low prices. Because from 2024 there will be no more advertising for meat bargains.
"We cannot tell people there is a climate crisis and then encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause," Dutch politician Ziggy Klazes told radio station Haarlem105. It is precisely for this reason that the capital of the province of North Holland wants to ban advertising of this kind in public. With that, she disappears from buses, posters or screens, which otherwise provided the necessary attention. A world premiere, initiated by Klaze's Groenlinks party, in German green-left. She didn't even know about the uniqueness of her application, the politician told the radio station. At the end of 2021, the city council of the municipality accepted her application, and now the advertising ban is a done deal. The Christian Democrats in Haarlem's municipal council also agreed.
But not only the advertising for cheap meat should be put to an end. Other climate pollutants will also disappear from public advertising in 2024. For example, those for flights, fossil fuels and cars with combustion engines. But the ban on advertising meat is causing a stir among the Dutch. In 2021, the proportion of meat eaters in the Netherlands was according to a survey of the smartproteinprojects.eu at 90 percent. On average, every Dutchman eats 67.1 kilograms of meat per year. In the Netherlands, the love of meat goes so far that the meat industry recently started a campaign called "Nederland Vleesland", Netherlands - Land of Flesh. The core of the criticism against the advertising ban: the decision is legally sensitive and interferes with freedom of expression. Some even see it as censorship or fear that meat eaters would be stigmatized by the advertising ban. Although organic meat can still be advertised, meat producers, farmers and meat lovers are still protesting.
Beef production causes more than ten times as many emissions as soy
With this step, Haarlem wants to become more sustainable. After all, it has been known for a long time that a lot of emissions can be saved with a meat-free or even completely plant-based diet. Animal husbandry, liquid manure waste or the production of animal feed add up to a lot: Meat, sausage and dairy products contribute, for example two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions of nutrition in Germany.
Just got meat a high CO₂-Footprint. For one kilogram of beef, about 13.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emitted, for pork it is 4.6 kilograms of CO₂ and for chickens 5.5 kilograms of CO₂. For comparison: For one kilogram of a soy-based patty, only 1.1 kilograms of CO₂ emitted - a lot of savings potential. In Germany, the proportion of meat eaters is 88 percent. Should the advertising ban actually have an effect, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions could also be saved in this country.
It will be a while before the advertising ban comes into force in Haarlem. The city could not enforce the decision before 2024. Only then do the contracts with the advertisers who are responsible for public advertising expire - and among whom there are obviously still some meat fans.