Lessons on food sustainability from Denmark
What can UK food businesses and government learn from how contentious issues are being tackled in Denmark?
Our June Business Forum looked to Denmark, a world leader on food sustainability, to ask what lessons we can learn from our European neighbour.
Denmark’s position as one of the world leaders on food sustainability was reinforced when it came second in the ‘sustainable agriculture’ and third in the ‘tackling nutritional challenges’ parts of the 2018 Food Sustainability Index (‘FSI’). Overall Denmark came seventh in the FSI, well ahead of the UK, which only came 24th. Denmark and the UK have similarities (e.g. in climate) but also differences (e.g. Denmark’s population is only c. 9% of the UK’s). Nevertheless, there is a lot the UK and Denmark can learn from each other with regard to healthy, sustainable food systems.
Denmark and the UK have similarities (e.g. in climate) but also differences (e.g. Denmark’s population is only c. 9% of the UK’s). Nevertheless, there is a lot the UK and Denmark can learn from each other with regard to healthy, sustainable food systems. In Denmark the opportunities for investing in sustainable agriculture have been seized upon to a greater extent than in the UK. In Denmark, there have been several initiatives to recycle water, including processes to capture phosphate from sewage sludge and providing irrigation from cleaned-up wastewater. There has been investment in improved utilisation of nitrogen and reduced fertiliser use. There has been a strong emphasis in Denmark on knowledge transfer. Denmark’s ‘Fund for Organic Agriculture’ has provided important funding for initiatives such as the ‘Future Cropping’ project. Investing in and promoting organic agriculture has been key to Denmark’s success.
Guest speakers were Lise Walbom, CEO of Food Nation Denmark and Martin Koehring, Managing Editor & Global Healthcare Lead, Thought Leadership, the Economist Intelligence Unit. The meeting was chaired by Jo Lewis, Policy & Strategy Director of the Soil Association and Chair of the Food Ethics Council.