The success story of Danish organics attracts great attention from foreign countries. Recently the director of Organic Denmark visited the British parliament to speak about, how Denmark has achieved the world’s highest organic market share of the total food sale and how Danish policy has been a key driver in the development of the organic food sector.
It is not only organic food products from Denmark that are popular abroad. It is also Denmark’s “know-how” about how to develop the organic food sector. Recently Organic Denmark’s director, Paul Holmbeck, was in London to give the British parliament an insight into the Danish organic model.
- The sale of organic products is increasing and today Denmark has the world’s highest organic market share of the total food sale. The British politicians wish to use organic actively in the protection of the drinking water and in the development of jobs and green growth in the rural districts like in Denmark, says Paul Holmbeck, who was invited to the British parliament to speak about how Organic Denmark has driven a joint market effort forward and how Danish organic policy successfully has supported the organic market development and innovation.
- They want to use our inputs in their work with farming, food and organic policies after Brexit. We are happy about contributing to the development of organics and the organic market in Great Britain. Denmark’s brand as the world leading organic nation is strengthened on the export markets when we share our know-how about organics and organic policy, says Paul Holmbeck.
Inspiration from an Offensive Organic Policy
The interest in Danish organic cooperation and organic policy is great - and increasing. Alone for the last four years more than 28 different countries –from Norway to China through Bhutan – has been in a dialogue with Organic Denmark about Denmark’s experiences with developing organics both in the market and in politics.
- I hope that the British politicians will be inspired by our experiences and the powerful cooperation we have in Denmark. An offensive organic policy, like we have in Denmark, both benefits the farmers, the consumers, the environment and the animals and at the same time it is an engine of growth and green transition in the agriculture, says Paul Holmbeck and continues:
- In Denmark, it is also important to tell repeatedly how important the political contribution is for the development of organics. In fact, the investment in market promotion, innovation, research and education of farmers has been declining in recent years. But we hope to amend this in the coming Finance Act.
The Danish Model: It is all about Motivation and Partnership
The purpose of Paul Holmbeck’s speech was to offer an insight into how Organic Denmark and Danish organic policy motivate action.
- Green transition is about people. And part of our success is based on that we motivate everyone to join – farmers, consumers, companies, large-scale kitchens and stakeholders from the retail sector. Motivation, partnerships and an offensive organic policy make up the Danish model. And it works, says Paul Holmbeck and continues:
- We have numerous good examples on policy and association’s work that boost the motivation: Free counseling to the conventional farmers on how to convert to organic production, a close cooperation with the retail sector about the development of the market, nationwide consumer events on farms and finally the huge mobilisation of Denmark’s public and private large-scale kitchens that has encouraged many to convert to 60 percent organic food in the large-scale kitchens. This is an active organic mobilisation that is supported by politics, concludes Paul Holmbeck.
Organic Denmark is Denmark’s association of organic farmers, consumers and more than 200 food companies, which represent more than 90% of the organic production in Denmark. Paul Holmbeck has been a lobbyist for the organic sector since 1995 and he has played a role in the development and financing of a majority of Denmark’s public policies that are related to organic.