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Survey: with reduced VAT, residents plan to Latvian fruits, vegetables and berries more often

1 January will mark the coming into force of a reduced VAT rate on fruits, vegetables and berries typical for Latvia. With the reduced 5% VAT rate, every second Latvian resident plans to purchase fruits, berries and vegetables produced in Latvia more often in 2018, according to a survey by Rimi Latvia.

It should be added that the government’s approved changes to several laws that will come into force in 2018. Every fifth respondent, commenting on the importance of amendments to the law, also mentioned the simultaneous increase of the tax rate on fuel, cigarettes and alcohol.

Only slightly more than 34% of respondents mentioned the increase of minimal wages as the most notable factor that will have an impact on their lives in 2018.

58% of respondents mentioned that they welcome amendments regarding reduced VAT for fruits, berries and vegetables typical for Latvia. 64% of respondents are certain that reduced VAT will improve the competitiveness of Latvian producers and will serve as effective means of support for Latvian farmers.

It is expected that these changes will make Latvian-made products more accessible to residents. When asked how price changes could affect the number of direct purchases, 55% of interviewed Latvian residents said that with reduced VAT they intend to buy more Latvian-made fruits, berries and vegetables.

One-third of respondents could not give a clear answer, whereas 18% of respondents said their habits are not likely to change.

«We hope these changes will prove as important support for farmers, help residents pay less for those products and reduce their unhealthy eating habits, and promote consumption of vitamin-rich products,» says Rimi Latvia chairman Valdis Turlais.

From 1 January onward Rimi supermarkets will offer informative booklets to explain to residents how changes are applied to fruits, berries and vegetables.

Reduced VAT rate will apply to fruits, vegetables and berries grown in Latvia, as well as imported fruits, vegetables and berries that are typically found in Latvia. This reduced VAT rate will remain in force until 31 December 2020.

The survey was performed in December 2017. A total of 708 Latvian residents participated in it.


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