The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark
2011 – 2020
In a nutshell
The overall goal of the Action Plan is to double the organically cultivated area by 2020, measured from the 2007 level. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, engaging the relevant stakeholders in Denmark was perceived as an essential factor. The government of Denmark wanted the public sector to lead the way and to accelerate the development. Therefore, one objective was to transition from conventional to organic production on publicly owned land. The second objective was to continue efforts to support public sector kitchens to go organic. The vision is that more than 800’000 people could benefit from healthy, organic meals served every day in canteens, hospitals and nurseries. Since Denmark’s Organic Action Plan was adopted in 2011, the organically farmed area has grown by 57 per cent, and sales of organic products by shops has more than doubled. Within these years, sales of organic products to professional kitchens in Denmark have increased by approximately 170 per cent, and 30 municipalities are currently in the process of making their kitchens go organic.
Denmark was the first country to develop and implement rules for organic farming, a national logo, and inspection system. In addition, Denmark has – at 13 percent- the highest organic market share in supermarkets. The Danish organic association, Organic Denmark, has supported governments, organizations, and food retailers in over 30 countries with the development of organic food policy and market development.
By developing and implementing the Organic Action Plan, the government of Denmark (2011-2015) aimed to further develop and increase organic production, and by doing that to maintain Denmark’s leading role in producing and using organic produce. One of the key objectives of the Organic Action Plan is to increase sales of Danish organic products, both nationally and globally.
- One key activity of the Action Plan is to stimulate the demand of organic products by consumers and private and public kitchens by e.g. getting public kitchens (such as in schools and hospitals) to start using more organic produce.
- Another key action has been using the Organic Cuisine label to encourage the use of organic products in both public and private kitchens.
- The Action Plan supports farmers to convert to organic production by making the rules on how to become an organic producer easier to understand.
- In order to support the development of good farming practices, research programs have been initiated that aim to develop good organic production practices.
Policies that have been developed to support organic farming have played a key role in realising the significant organic results achieved in Denmark.
This development did not come out of the blue and over night. It is the result of cooperation between farsighted farmers, organisations and politicians that has turned Denmark into the world’s leading country for organics.
Relevant Links & references
- Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark: “Organic Action Plan for Denmark. Working together for more organics”
- One Planet Network: “The Danish Organic Action Plan”
- World Future Council: “Silver Winner Denmark”