If the price of saffron has been declining for years, is it simply due to a lower tax paid? Or is this tax being deliberately avoided to keep saffron cheap?
A 2012 German study that looked at saffron prices in Germany between 2005 and 2005 found that prices had become cheaper in many parts of the country even though saffron imports from countries like India remained higher than they had been 10 years earlier.
The tax code in France has been changed so that it gives far higher income tax relief on saffron imports than it would have 10 years ago, a trend that should not be continued in the country, the study found.
The tax code in Italy has been changed so that saffron imports are taxed 20% higher than they should have been when they first entered the country in 1993, which should not be continued.
But what about the EU? Has it done something to make saffron cheaper, in fact?
Yes, many saffron-related products are being exempted from tariffs and other taxes in countries like Denmark and Germany, while there are some new subsidies available on the EU-wide market. There are two main products that fall into this category: the saffron oil industry and the saffron paste trade.
So how is the EU helping?
The EU has a “saffron action plan”, which gives financial support to countries seeking to protect saffron.
Many countries in the EU have also signed up to the “Saffron Programme”, an additional program which helps developing countries by giving financial assistance that is paid out quarterly. This has paid out over €50m to African countries like Senegal and Niger, and over €60m in cash to Morocco.
What is next?
The saffron price drop is yet another sign that consumers are growing weary of paying high prices for saffron products. If the EU wants saffron to remain affordable, it is going to have to keep raising the price of the paste and oil, which are essential to its market share. The EU Commission is working on a revision of the standardised packaging that is already used in most other countries around the world.
That change is also required in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, it will make it less likely for consumers to continue
how do you harvest saffron, how long to grow ginger root, saffron crocus poisonous, when is saffron harvested in morocco, climate to grow ginger