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ProVeg International applauds Denmark's bold steps to boost plant-based food industry

October 16, 2023

The Government of Denmark last week published its 'Action Plan for Plant-Based Foods', which aims to increase the production and consumption of climate-friendly food by providing support in the public sector, industry and research and development fields.

“The Danish Government has taken a huge step forward in the fight against climate change by publishing its Action Plan for Plant-Based Foods,” commented Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of food awareness organization, ProVeg International.

“It 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," De Boo added. "The shift to alternative protein is as important as the shift to renewable energy as a solution to climate change. Denmark’s Action plan marks a milestone in food system transformation."

ProVeg understands that Denmark’s 40-page document, which has been worked on for the past two years, represents the first time that a country has made an action plan outlining initiatives to advance the production and consumption of plant-based foods.

De Boo said she expects other EU countries to be emboldened by Denmark to publish their own strategies, particularly in the latter half of 2025 when Denmark will preside over the European Council.

“In addition, this action plan can serve as an inspiration for the European Commission to reverse course and introduce a Sustainable Food Systems Law. We encourage the EU to align with Member State actions and maintain a focus on food sustainability at its core,” De Boo noted.

Plant-based diets emit half the greenhouse gas emissions as animal-based foods so a shift to more plant rich foods represents an effective, and healthy way of tackling the climate crisis.

The action plan covers a range of areas such as increasing consumption in public sector kitchens, education of professionals, export activities, production and processing, agricultural raw materials, and research and development.

Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, Secretary-General at the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, said he was delighted to see that the action plan covers the whole food system from farm to fork, that the government calls this a necessary transition globally, and that it would like Denmark to inspire other countries.

“After all, Denmark is still a country famous for its agriculture, which is dominated by industrial animal production, so when a country like Denmark can make a plant-based action plan, supported by a broad majority in the Parliament, it should be possible anywhere in the world. My biggest wish is that many more countries will get inspired and start drafting their own plant-based action plans,” Dragsdahl said.

The plan is separate from Denmark’s Fund for Plant-Based Foods which allots €100 million (US$105 million) to promote plant-based food and was launched earlier this year with its own strategy.

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