The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of the northern European country of Denmark has published a national action plan to help the country move towards a more plant-based food system. It has been held as one of the most ambitious groundbreaking action plans in any country on this issue.
The plan states, “Plant-based foods must be understood broadly and cover all types of foods made from plants, edible fungi, algae and beneficial microorganisms. There is both a focus on plant-based proteins and alternatives to animal foods, but also classic plant-based crops such as grains, fruit and vegetables.”
The action plan was compiled from an industry analysis from Aalborg University and Copenhagen University on the sector’s companies, development paths and needs, including case studies of the plant-based sector in Germany, the Netherlands and Israel; a market analysis from the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen, which assesses the coming decade’s market prospects for plant-based foods in Denmark, the EU and the rest of the world; and Involvement of about 30 different stakeholders across the industry.
According to the plan, objectives have been set for five key areas:
- “The Danish raw material base must be strengthened through subsidies and development efforts.
- The overall Danish plant-based value chain must be strengthened, and the cohesion in the individual value chain links must be increased.
- More plant-based foods must be sold. In 2021, approx. 32 billion DKK annually in the Danish retail trade. The government has an ambition to increase sales of plant-based foods.
- The export effort for plant-based foods must support the further development of the sector. In 2023 and 2024, the branding of the Danish plant-based food sector must be strengthened through an effort via Food Nation supported by the Danish embassies.
- Research and innovation must be strengthened through public-private collaborations. The government will work to establish strategic research collaborations between the state and stakeholders in the field of agriculture, including possibly one or more external actors (e.g. companies, private foundations or other countries). The collaborations can help create the basis for Danish food companies to become leaders in plant-based food production.”
Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of ProVeg International, said to Vegan Food and Living that the plan 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.”