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Organic Denmark

A success story of organic dairy entrepreneurs

What began as a seemingly impossible business plan turned out to be the beginning of one of the biggest successes in the Danish organic home and export markets.

Thise Dairy sold just 100 litres of milk in its first weeks on the market. That was in 1988. Today, the dairy is the second biggest in Denmark with exports all over the world.

To this day, the dairy is based in the small town of Thise in northern Denmark. This is where it all began with seven organic dairy farmers and a dairyman who enthusiastically – slightly naïvely, some would say – insisted on starting an independent, organic dairy.

The victory of dedication, quality and good marketing

The financial development through the first couple of years of the dairy certainly wasn’t impressive. But, with the spirit of a true entrepreneur, the little dairy carried on even though consumers did not yet seem ready for its premium organic products. Even if the market was not ready, and even if the cooperative could see their non-organic colleagues making higher and more steady income, the dairy and its members firmly believed in the quality of their values and products, determined not to surrender.

To a large extent, entrepreneurial determination has guided the direction and the success of the dairy ­– and still does

To a large extent, this entrepreneurial determination has guided the direction and the success of the dairy ­– and still does. It is what made the founders combine an uncompromised approach to quality with a search for new collaborative sales channels and an active role in shaping marketing conditions. In fact, it has become the modern-day motto of the now not-so-small dairy: Thise never surrenders!

From Thise to China

Life at Thise Dairy is very different nowadays. With around 300 products in the range and 290 employees in the dairy, Denmark’s second largest dairy is not only successful on the home market. Around 30-35% of turnover comes from exports, primarily to neighbouring markets and, increasingly, to China and the US.