The Danish authorities allocate three million euros to promote "bio" products. Denmark aspires to become the first country in the world to only produce organic food. Nowadays, the Scandinavian country, with 43,000 square kilometers (not counting Greenland) and 5.6 million inhabitants, is the one with the highest percentage of consumption of this kind of products on the planet: 8% of what Eat the Danes has been generated without using chemicals, according to data from the Organic Denmark association, which groups together producers, traders and consumers and has 180 companies in its ranks.
The figure is well above the 6.5% of Austria, 6.3% of Switzerland and, already at a much greater distance, 3.9% of Sweden, 3.7% of Germany or 2.4% of France . But the Danes' goal goes much further. Last year, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries announced an ambitious 67-point plan, to which it allocated in the 2015 budget an item of 400 million crowns (about 53.6 million euros), with which it intends to double in 2020 the area destined to organic farming in the country compared to what it had in 2007.
The Danes are already world leaders in the consumption of organic food, with 8%. They already have a long history in the production of organic food. His was the first country in the world to regulate them: the national logo for products of this type was created 25 years ago and according to surveys it is known by 97% of citizens. Sales have increased 80% since 2003, with oatmeal, carrots, milk and eggs the most in demand, Organic Denmark says. The national market generated a turnover of 829 million euros in 2014. And since 2007, the year taken as a reference for the government plan, Danish farmers and ranchers who do not use pesticides have doubled their exports.
Over the next few years, until 2018, the Danish authorities will allocate more than 3.3 million euros to promote the consumption of organic products in the country. In addition, the regulations that affect them will be simplified (the procedures for the recognition and approval of farms will be simpler and faster, and the land lease contracts will be lengthened) in order to encourage production, it will be required on publicly owned land and farmers who decide to undertake the transition from the current mode of production to organic will be subsidized with an aid of at least 117 euros per hectare per year (the first two years of activity may reach 161 euros ).
Boost from the public sector
Another 8 million euros will also be invested until 2018 in measures to ensure that public institutions and companies increase the consumption of organic products. "The public sector has to lead the way," says Minister Dan Jørgensen. One of the objectives of the plan is that 60% of the food consumed in 2020 in the dining rooms and cafeterias of schools, kindergartens, hospitals and other centers dependent on the state, regional and local administrations have this origin. Between them, they now serve about 800,000 meals a day. A good part of these menus are prepared in the dining rooms of the military installations, where 1.1 million kilos of food are consumed per year. And the Ministry of Defense has promised that the percentage of organic food on the troop's plates will gradually increase (currently it reaches 40% in some barracks). For its part, the Ministry of Education will design content dedicated to disseminating the importance of organic farming in primary schools and secondary schools, and will develop programs to promote healthy eating among students.
In just 5 years it has been possible to reduce food waste by a quarter. Because awareness campaigns seem to work in the Nordic country: in five years, food waste has been cut by 25%, estimated at 700,000 tons per year, with the help of entities such as Stop Spild af Mad (Stop the waste of food, in Danish) or initiatives such as the WeFood supermarket, which sells in a low-income neighborhood of Copenhagen the food that conventional supermarkets cannot sell, and does so at prices between 30% and 50% cheaper.
Denmark thus follows the recommendations of the United Nations advisory food specialists. Small-sized local organic plantations, which can provide varied, fresh, local, contaminant-free and affordable products ... are the best way to feed the world without compromising the future of the planet, according to the conclusions of the 2013 Trade and Environment Review report. : Wake Up Before it is Too Late (2013: Wake Up Before It's Too Late), published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Defense of the environment
And the Scandinavian country thus confirms its pioneering role worldwide in the field of environmental defense, embodied in initiatives such as the one that aims to convert its capital, Copenhagen, of just over half a million inhabitants, which exceed one million. if the population of the entire metropolitan area is counted, in the first large carbon-neutral city on the planet. Or with the Government's goal of ensuring that all of Denmark, which is an international leader in wind and biomass, is supplied solely with renewable energy by 2050. By the end of this decade, if the plans are met, they should already cover a third of consumption.