Always remember VAT works on the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ principle. VAT is due unless a specific relief applies. All of the VAT reliefs are narrowly applied so you should avoid expecting HMRC to be generous in any interpretation.
Busily buying seeds reminded me of the fine line between zero-rated seeds for growing food and VATable seeds for growing edible flowers. Yet another hair-splitting distinction that makes VAT so interesting.
The flowers-v-food argument was lost in tribunal by Branded Garden Products (TC05604) looking at when this particular line was crossed. Just because a flower can be eaten that doesn’t make its seed or plant into being ‘food’ so it can’t be zero-rated. Effectively to qualify for relief it has to be food first and ‘held out for sale’ as being food. Having edible flowers just isn’t enough.