As the world’s leading country in organics, it’s no surprise that Denmark has launched such an ambitious plan. Released last year, the Danish Organic Action Plan hopes to transform the entire country’s agriculture into sustainable and organic farming. That means no pesticides, no GMOs, only whole, natural and safe produce – a back to basics approach, ironically deemed ‘revolutionary.’
Launched by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, the plan attempts to drive organic demand and sales both nationally and in the world market. It aims to double the area under organic cultivation by 2020 from the 2007 levels.
“In order to achieve our goals, which are the most ambitious in the West, the public sector needs to lead the way,” Food and Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen told The Local Denmark. “With Økologiplan Danmark [Organic Denmark], we will strengthen cooperation between municipalities, regions and ministries with a long line of new initiatives. We will commit ourselves to, among other things, have more organic items on the menu in canteens, hospitals and daycare institutions.”
With an estimated 800,000 meals served daily in public institutions, this would significantly help.
The plan will strengthen knowledge of organic practices in schools and the education sector.
“We want to improve children and young people’s awareness of ecology and therefore we are using the public school reform to teach about organic farming and production in the natural science and in the new subject of food knowledge,” says Education Minister, Christine Antoine.
Danish organic exports have risen by more than 200 per cent since 2007. The government has allocated 4.5 million Euros to export initiatives in the latest plan. It will also attempt to increase organic dialogue on the global stage.
Along with these main drivers, the plan will focus on new research and experiments, and simplifying the country’s organic regulations.
Denmark leads the world in sales of organic produce; 8 per cent of all food sold is organic. However at only 8%, critics would suggest 100% is a fanciful feat. But as a government-led initiative, with 400 million kroner committed to the cause, it may well be achievable. And fanciful or not, it’s a step in the right direction.