Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council

Innovation Centre ready to maintain and strengthen Danish organic food production

Denmark is intent on continuing its efforts to be a pioneering country for organic agricultural production. As world champions in organic food consumption and with a growing number of organic full-time farms, Danish organic production is thriving. And with the opening of an organic innovation centre, Denmark is set to deliver more solutions for the continued evolution of organic agricultural production.

Back in April 2021, we covered the establishment of an organic innovation centre to accelerate Denmark's organic production and development. A Danish government grant has made it possible to open the centre, which was inaugurated in October.

Read also: Innovation centre to maintain Denmark as the world’s leading organic nation

The Centre was established jointly by the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Organic Denmark with the common goal of creating the world's most sustainable agriculture rooted in organic principles for the benefit of organic farmers and society. The two organisations each had their own organic agricultural innovation department. These now constitute the new Innovation Centre.

"The Innovation Centre’s goal is to develop sustainable organic agriculture of the future. This means that the first link in the chain – the farmer and agricultural advisers – requires access to the best and most up-to-date knowledge. The demands of organic production, together with those of food in general, are always evolving in both society and the market itself with the attendant emergence of professional opportunities and requirements. This is where the Centre's innovation and knowledge will provide answers and show the way forward for agriculture's green transition,” says Helle Borup Friberg, director of Organic Denmark and Chair of the Innovation Centre for Organic Agriculture.

The partners behind the Centre also welcome the fact that it has now come into being:

“There is huge potential in organics that we can unleash through our ambition to innovate and develop. The new Centre must have knowledge as its focal point and be the first port of call. It should strengthen the organic farmer’s financial basis so that Denmark has a broad foundation of committed organic farmers and producers in Denmark,” says Hans Erik Jørgensen, organic farmer and Chair of the Organics Section at the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.

“The new Centre will be a focal point for organic development and a future sustainable food system that can solve some of the challenges we face today. By bringing together the disciplines across the two organisations, we have already taken the first step for the benefit of the entire value chain from farmer to business and consumer,” says Per Kølster, chairman of Organic Denmark.

” Note: For Poultry, there is only data for 2020. For Pigs, the data displayed is from 2011 because there is no data available before 2011. Source: Danmarks Statistik. 

The number of farms converted to organic pig production is growing
According to the accounting statistics from Statistics Denmark, the number of Danish organic farms in 2020 increased to just over 741 farms in five years. In 2020, Danish pig production accounted for 48 full-time farms with organic pig meat production. At the same time, organic pig production delivered the second-best operating result of all the Danish organic farming methods from 2019 to 2020. Therefore, the Innovation Centre for organic farming will also be able to participate in the continued development of Danish organic pig meat production.

Fact box: Innovation Centre for Organic Farming

  • The field of activity is innovation, scientific trials and knowledge development for all types of organic agricultural production within circular food systems, animal welfare, climate, natural content, resource efficiency and economically robust agriculture.
  • The Centre has around 50 employees.
  • It is located in the Agro Food Park near Aarhus at the Danish Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Industry.

The government and supporting parties allocated a total of DKK 40 million to the Centre over a four-year period in the 2021 Finance Act.