Food researcher wants GST lifted from fruit and vegetables

NZ Herald December 02, 2007
A university researcher says GST should be removed from fruit and vegetables to allow healthy eating targets to be more easily met. Massey University’s Emma Dresler-Hawke said a study showed the cost of eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day bought at various supermarkets ranged from $1.13 to $2.12 per person, depending on the supermarket and the season. This meant an average family of two adults and two children could spend $59.36 a week on fruit and vegetables during winter, something some lower income families could struggle to meet. “Some studies have found that higher fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with higher diet costs,” Dr Dresler-Hawke said. “Low income groups generally have a more restricted food budget so fruit and vegetables may be overlooked in favour of more energy-dense foods.” Dr Dresler-Hawke recommended lifting GST on fruit and vegetables and providing free fruit to all school children.