Danish Government support for organics to continue
In early February, Denmarks Minister of Food, Agriculture and
Fisheries announced Action Plan II that will continue support for the Danish organic
sector into the 21st century. Proposed funding of DKK 2.2 billion (US$338
million) for 1999-2003, will cover both production and marketing.
The action plan calls for 10% of Danish farmers to be using organic
production methods by 2003, and will result in a tripling of Danish organic production
over 5 years. In 1998, there were approximately 2,500 farms using or converting to organic
farming methods, a two-fold increase since 1996, and about 99,000 hectares (245,000 acres)
or 3.7% of Danish agricultural area devoted to organic production. For 1999, as farms and
acreage in transition go fully organic, the numbers are expected to climb to 3,300 farms
and 150,000 hectares (371,000 acres).
Denmarks main organic products are dairy, meat, eggs, vegetables
and grains. Approximately 20% of the milk produced in Denmark is organic. The average
organic farm size is 38.5 hectares (95 acres), which is roughly equivalent to the size of
a conventional Danish farm.
The action plan also will focus on strengthening exports to neighboring
countries, especially the UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands; improving the quality
of organic products; and centralizing distribution especially for the hotel and restaurant
sector. The plan calls for establishment of organic distribution centers around the
country to facilitate the sale and delivery of a wide range of organic food products in
commercial quantities. The new support program is in addition to an already-established
government support scheme which covers half of the cost of research and development
associated with new product development. Projects such as market studies and new product
development which will be funded under the $30 million action plan are intended to
eventually be self-financing.
For more news on organics, see HTPs monthly newsletter
"Organic Perspectives," available at the HTP home page:
The newsletter contains reports on organics from around the world gleaned
from attache reports, trips made by HTPs organics staff, and other sources. The
newsletter also covers items of interest about the U.S. national organic program and the
domestic organic industry. A list of upcoming conferences, trade shows and other events is
included in every issue.
(For further information, contact Janise Zygmont (analysis) at
202-720-1176 or Kelly Strzelecki (marketing) at 202-690-1341.)