Denmark first country to release plant-based roadmap, UK urged to follow

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Denmark is the first country in the world to publish a plan detailing how it will transition towards a plant-based food system. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio
Denmark is the first country in the world to publish a plan detailing how it will transition towards a plant-based food system. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio

Related tags plant-based

The Danish Government has published a plan detailing how its food system will transition towards plant-based alternatives.

Denmark is the first country in the world to take such a step, with the proposals published by the Danish Ministry of Food as part of the political agricultural agreement from 2021.

The plan states that the Government is committed to promoting and strengthening the country’s plant-based industry, in an attempt to lead a global shift towards a more sustainable food system. It also calls for upgrades to the quality of personnel in public and private kitchens and a larger focus on plant-based diets in primary schools and higher education.

Vegetarian Society of Denmark general secretary Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl described the move as “internationally groundbreaking​” given that Denmark is the first country to create a plan “specifically for plant-based foods​”.

It is also positive that there is focus on so many aspects—ranging from research, product development, and export of Danish products to the training of kitchen professionals​,” said Dragsdahl.

We have received a lot of inquiries from NGOs, politicians, and businesses abroad, all who have been just as eagerly awaiting the action plan as we have​.”

The Plant Fund closed its first application round for a fund of DKK 58m (£6.7m) in the autumn, but was massively oversubscribed. As a result, there have been calls from organisations such as the Vegetarian Society of Denmark and leading universities to raise the level of funding in support of the plan.

UK and Europe urged to follow

Jen Elford, head of policy and external affairs for the Vegetarian Society in the UK, believes that Denmark is “ahead of the curve​” with this move and called on the UK Government to “learn something from this model and import something from Denmark other than bacon​”.

This is something we strongly expressed recently at a session run by the Institute for Public Policy Research at the Labour Party conference," ​Elford told Food Manufacture.

"Denmark has a fund to boost plant-based farming and to set new healthy and sustainable eating guidelines, in a bid to create a circular and sustainable green economy for the country​.”

Meanwhile, Acacia Smith, senior policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, described the move as an “important precedent​”.

"Europe is the world's biggest market for plant-based meat, and to take advantage of this growing industry – as well as to boost food security and create future-proof green jobs – other national governments across the continent should follow the Danish lead​,” said Smith.

In other news, the IFST explored the future role of food science during its 2023 lecture, held in London on 10 October​.

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