Denmark launches ‘most ambitious’ organic plan

The aim is to speed conversion to organic production and increase demand for organic foods at the same time

The Danish government has announced a plan to double its organic farmland by 2020 and to increase demand for organic food.

Denmark’s organic retail sector is already the most developed in the world, with organic products accounting for 8% of total grocery spending, according to trade association Organic Denmark. The new 67-point plan, Økologiplan Danmark, strongly focuses on increasing the amount of organic food served in the public sector, including using more organic ingredients in the 800,000 meals served each day in day care centres, government institutions and hospitals.

The government previously has announced a 60% organic goal for food served in public institutions.

“In order to achieve our goals, which are the most ambitious in the West, the public sector needs to lead the way,” said Food and Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen. 

The plan includes guidelines to reach the government’s goal of doubling the amount of farmland dedicated to organic production by 2020, compared to a 2007 baseline.

Speeding conversion to organic

“We must speed up the conversion to organic farming if we are to hit the goal of doubling the area by 2020,” the document says. “The government will therefore strengthen both development and conversion and will work with alternative ownership and operation models.”

The government has earmarked 400m kroner (€53.7m) under the plan to increase organic production and supply.

Chairman of Organic Denmark, Per Kølster, welcomed the Danish government’s proposals, saying the focus on improved yields, marketing, new plant varieties and sources of protein, as well as new forms of financing, would create better conditions for organic farmers.

The action plan is available online here (in Danish).

Denmark-headquartered dairy and ingredients giant Arla Foods has also welcomed the plan, saying its sales of organic dairy products to Danish public catering kitchens reached their highest ever level in 2014 and increased 30% over the past two years.

European supply-demand imbalance

Across Europe, the organic market has increased fourfold over the past decade according to EU figures, but organic agricultural land has only doubled over the same period.

To support growth in the European organic sector, and to increase consumer confidence, the European Commission proposed stricter rules for organic production and import in March last year, and the legislation is expected to come into effect by 2017. However, some producers have disputed the Commission’s approach.

Related News

Organic sales growth has started to outperform non-organic

UK organic market up 4% last year

Organic packaged food is synonymous with both quality and convenience for Italian and French consumers.

Italy and France show promise for organic packaged food

Current thinking suggests organic food is more nutritionally dense and less exposed to pesticides when compared to foods produced by conventional farming methods. (©

Why do people buy organic? Separating myth from motivation

BioFach 2016 Organic trends, innovations & hot topics

Organic trends, innovations & hot topics: What's the buzz at BioFach?

'As shoppers continue to move away from the ‘big shop’ towards the high street, signs look positive for future organic retail sales,' said Soil Association chief executive, Helen Browning. © iStock

Innovation and changing shopping habits fuel UK organic sales

According to trade association Organic Denmark, 90% of consumers who recognise the state-controlled Ø-mark  say it is a ‘highly trusted’ logo. © iStock

Awareness of state organic logo is 100%, says Danish government

Food ingredients, such as enzymes and cultures, and proteins are currently the biggest growth segments in the Danish food industry. ©iStock

Arla Foods to head Danish initiative to boost exports

'DTU has a long tradition for researching in the fields of biotechnology and process technology with an innovative slant. We are continuing to build on this tradition,' said hansen. © iStock/DigitalStorm

Danish food giants and DTU researchers come together to solve the ‘ingredients paradox’

© iStock/MarianVejcik

Gastro2025: Industry giants to advise Danish government on boosting food industry potential

'It's only now we feel we can talk about opportunities for strengthening the proposals," Atkinson said.

‘Uncertainty’ over measures to close EU organic supply-demand gap

Organic food in the EU is well-defined, but consumer confusion arises when 'organic' is associated with packaged foods

What is organic? Organic packaged food growth stalled by differing perceptions

Related Products

See more related products

Comments (2)

Bill Baerg - 17 Mar 2015 | 07:36

Pure Ignorance

Has the Great Social Experiment to the East not made it clear enough for the Danish Politicians? Danes are already dead-beat broke! How do they believe they can pull off this type of government intrusion before their economy totally collapses?

17-Mar-2015 at 19:36 GMT

Rodger Mpande - 02 Feb 2015 | 05:00

Rodger Mpande

Would like to get the Danish Organic Plan in English. Is that possible? My organization is very interested in developing the organic sector in Zimbabwe

02-Feb-2015 at 17:00 GMT

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.