Organic sales in Denmark continue to set a record. From 2016 to 2017, the organic sale increased by 31%. Nowadays, half of the population in Denmark buys organic food every single week. Danish consumers are the most pro-organic consumers in the world, and Denmark has the world’s highest organic share and most well-developed organic market in the world.
The country’s goal, however, is to become 100% organic by 2020. With that goal just two years ahead, the question is whether it is possible? There are more than 200 organic member companies in the “Organic Denmark” organization. These companies represent the organic food industry in the country.
Every big project requires government help. And the government of Denmark is well aware of this fact. In 2018, the government started a new financial growth plan, which included investing of 147 million euros in the upcoming year. Key element in the stimulus package is to increase the number of farmers opting to go organic.
“There is a sense of higher demand from Danish consumers for organic products. In fact, we have the largest domestic market in the world, with over ten percent of our domestic food market being organic”, said Minister for Food and the Environment Esben Lunde Larsen in December 2018.
Due to the high costs and time needed for individual farmers to go organic, state-funded support for conversion is necessary. Here are some ways the government is stimulating organic products
- Promotion on the domestic market
- Simplifying the country’s organic regulations
- Requiring organic farming on public lands and subsidizing farmers that transition to organic production
- Stimulate public institutions to use more organic products
- The Defense Department is serving more organic foods in its cafeterias
- The Ministry of the Environment is converting more areas into organic farms
- Last, but not least, the Ministry of Education is incorporating more lessons about organic farming and nutritional benefits into the curriculum
Denmark is not the only country in the world that is trying to become 100% organic. The fact of the matter is that many other countries are going for that title. People all around the world are becoming more and more aware that organic foods are much healthier.
Estonia is one of the closest competitors to Denmark. In 2015, the idea of Organic Estonia won the grant of the Development Idea competition organized by the Estonian Development Fund.
Organic Estonia refers to a state which values clean food and free natural state of being. Estonia has great geographical opportunities to achieve that. Half of the territory of Estonia is covered in forest, and all of the forests are naturally grown.
In 2015, sales of organic products made up 8.4% of total sales in the country. In 2016, that number went up to 9.7%, and exploded to 13.3% in 2017. The explanation for the huge increase is introduction of online sale of organic products.
Many believe that will be the key to even higher organic sale in the upcoming years. People want to do their grocery shopping in easy and convenient way. And online shopping makes that possible.
Just so we get a good overview of how organic food is taking over Denmark, let’s look at some quick facts.
- Denmark is the country where sales of organic products make up for the largest part of overall sales, 13.3% in 2017
- The 10 most popular organic products bought by consumers in 2017 were oatmeal (52%), carrots, eggs, milk, bananas, flour, cooking oil, pasta, vegetables, fruits. All accounted for more than 20% of the sales of the product
- Many products have achieved a very high organic market share, with fruits and vegetables leading the way with 33% of total organic turnover
- Denmark not only produces organic products for its consumers, but also exports. In 2016, Denmark exported more than 322 million euros
- Biggest export markets for Denmark are Germany, Sweden, and other neighbor countries, as well as China
- Denmark is the third-largest export country of organic products
- The most popular exported organic product category is dairy, with eggs leading the way with 37%