This Country is Investing $100 Million Towards a Plant-Based Future
The world may seem just inches from the point of no return to combat climate change, but the United Nation's latest report reassured us that there is still time left – under one condition: We take swift plant-based action. Coinciding with this call to action, Denmark just announced that it will invest $100 million into a brand new fund dedicated to promoting plant-based innovation, sales, and education across the country. The campaign will help curb the negative environmental consequences of Denmark's large meat industry.
The Danish Agency for Agriculture launched this campaign, called The Plant Fund, to ensure the country helps uplift its growing plant-based market as environmental action becomes more urgent. The Danish government also invited the Danish Plantbased Business Association to sit on the board and advise how this investment should be allocated.
“The [plant-based] industry’s Achilles heel is that the market is too small. We will work to ensure that the fund’s funds are primarily used for market development,” Head of the Secretariat in the Danish Plantbased Business Association Frederik Madsen. “We are proud that the Danish Plantbased Business Association has now been recognized by the Minister of Food, in line with the other industry organizations that can get a seat on the board of the Plant Fund. Therefore, it is both a milestone and a great recognition that we are hugely honored when we established the industry association just three years ago.”
Denmark’s Growing Plant-Based Market
Denmark’s new campaign will help strengthen its steady plant-based market growth. Through this initiative, the Danish government aims to support its national brands including Dryk, Naturali, and Cavi-art as they enter international markets. Current estimates project that Denmark’s plant-based sales increased by $8 million from 2018 to 2020.
The country’s plant-based movement is occurring as more data shows just how detrimental Europe’s carbon footprint is to the global environment. One report found that animal products such as dairy account for 82 percent of the food industry's carbon footprint in the EU, noting that cutting down meat and dairy consumption is the most effective method to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Promoting plant-based food in Denmark has been met with some resistance. Danish cuisine is heavily defined by dishes that feature pork meat and dairy, but the Danish government is working to incentivize plant-based expansion at every level. Last November, the government launched another plant-based campaign, making $90 million USD available to farmers that produced primarily plant-based foods.
Denmark’s initial campaign also committed to establishing an annual fund of $11.7 million until 2030 that will be entirely dedicated to promoting the plant-based sector. For a small country, pig farming has experienced a substantial expansion in recent years. Now, the Danish government is looking to transition from animal products to plant-based food production.
Despite the growing pig farms, a recent report found that nearly half of Europeans have revealed that they are working to cut meat from their diets. The report found that 37 percent of people identified as vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian; and 73 percent recorded lower levels of meat consumption this year than the year prior. With no time to waste, the Danish government intends to help raise these numbers by promoting businesses that are leading Denmark towards more sustainable food systems.
For more about plant-based planet initiatives, visit The Beet's Environmental News.