Photo: SEGES, Danish Agriculture & Food Council

2021 – a year of development, ambitious targets and challenges

The Danish food industry has ambitious visions for the future. Despite 2021 being a year of challenges brought about by Covid, falling pig prices and fluctuating export opportunities, Danish pig production has worked diligently throughout the year to maintain Denmark’s position as one of the pioneering countries in terms of competitive and greener food production with a consistently high standard of animal welfare.

The following summarises our various activities throughout the year:

Danish pig production remains focused on the climate and sustainability
Over the year, Danish pig production has seen a substantial fall in the price for both finishers and piglets. In the case of the former, this is largely because of the fall in demand from China. The Covid pandemic and the outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Germany and Poland also had a negative effect on prices. African Swine Fever in Germany and Poland had a particularly negative impact on the piglet price.


Illustration of the ongoing development in finisher prices. Source: Weekly price quotation.

Read also: Annual Report: an insight into Danish pig meat production in 2020

In 2021, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council set up a climate taskforce to develop specific initiatives to minimise greenhouse gas emissions at a global level. The Danish agricultural and food industry not only wants to reduce the carbon footprint of production that takes place in Denmark, but also to contribute to a lower carbon footprint in other countries. The aim is to export Danish technology, know-how and solutions across the world.

Read also: Global Climate Taskforce launches 15 proposals to deliver multiple climate effects

During the annual Danish pig congress, Danish pig producer representatives signed a 2050 vision for sustainability in Danish pig production.

Read also: Pig industry signs up to new vision for Danish pig production

Research and technology point the way forward
During the year under review, research and technology in the food cluster produced strong results with regard to genetics, breeding and feed. At the start of the year, SEGES launched the results from the biorefining of clover grass as sustainable pig feed. The results are valuable for Danish pig production as grass protein in pig feed can, in the long run, mean that Danish pig producers will be able to reduce the use of imported soy protein in favour of locally produced grass protein.

In 2021, Danish pig producers, through the deployment of a new tool, were able to calculate the carbon footprint of the feed they give to their pigs. The tool gives the individual producer insight into, and the option to change, their feed buying and feeding so that the feed contains the same nutrients but with a lower CO2 footprint.

Read also: Domestic protein alternatives
Read also: The taste of sustainable pork

Sustainability video on Danish pig production
In 2021, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council’s Trade & Market Relations Department produced a video to inform foreign markets about sustainability initiatives in Danish pig production. The sustainability video was funded by the Pig Levy Fund and is available to view here: The sustainable pigs of the future


Review of the past year and looking ahead to 2022
During the year, the Danish food cluster adopted a number of initiatives in the sustainability area. The food cluster also maintained its position as a leading player in the production of first-class, competitive food products.

The editorial team would like to thank you for your interest in Danish food production. We’re looking forward to the new year when we will bring you more news and information about developments in the Danish food cluster, with particular focus on Danish pig production.

If you have any questions or comments (positive or negative) you are always welcome to contact us.

We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council