The Danish government has published an ‘Action Plan for Plant-Based Foods’, aiming to strengthen sustainable food production in Denmark and beyond.
The action plan embraces the entire plant-based value chain from farm to table, aiming to strengthen Denmark’s position in sustainable agriculture as well as inspire change from other countries around the world.
Celebrated as a ‘world-first’, it was drawn up following a majority vote in the Danish Parliament, as an initiative of the 2021 ‘Agreement on the green transformation of Danish agriculture’.
Denmark’s Food Minister, Jacob Jensen, launched the government’s new action plan at the Hotel and Restaurant School in Copenhagen last week, alongside the school’s director, Anne-Birgitte Agger, and stakeholders from the plant-based value chain.
The plan outlines initiatives to strengthen the green transformation of the food and agricultural sector, created in dialogue with stakeholders in the field with the ambition of spreading healthy and climate-friendly food on Danish plates and beyond.
Jensen stated: “There is no doubt that a more plant-rich diet – in line with the Official Dietary Guidelines – helps to reduce our climate footprint. We need the action plan that shows how we can support the entire plant-based value chain and thereby contribute to the necessary transition.”
Plant-based foods have been identified as a future growth area within the action plan, which covers a broad range of plant-based foods including edible fungi, algae and beneficial microorganisms.
Initiatives set out in the plan include funds and subsidy schemes, consulting for start-ups, development of plant-based further education and initiatives to attract investment and strengthen Danish plant-based exports.
A market projection from the University of Copenhagen concluded that the sector for protein-rich plant-based foods can expect growth of between 4% and 11% annually until 2030 in Denmark and local markets, while production of fruit and vegetables will steadily increase.
ProVeg International described the 40-page action plan as a milestone in food system transformation, praising its focus on the entire value chain from farm to fork.
Jasmijn de Boo, the organisation’s CEO, said that she expects other EU countries to be emboldened by Denmark to publish their own strategies, particularly in the latter half of 2025 when Denmark will preside over the European Council.
“The Danish Government has taken a huge step forward in the fight against climate change by publishing its Action Plan for Plant-Based Foods,” de Boo commented.
She added: “It will accelerate the uptake of plant-based food in the public sector and support the agricultural sector to position itself for supplying alternative proteins to a growing plant-based market. The shift to alternative protein is as important as the shift to renewable energy as a solution to climate change.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023
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