Cross-disciplinary collaboration is characteristic of the Danish food cluster, which ranks among the strongest centres for food knowhow and innovation in the world.
The roots of our collaborative culture lie in the Danish cooperative movement. Since the late 19th century, this has demonstrated the power of pooling resources and knowhow to mutual benefit.
Trust, openness and a willingness to share are still fundamental values. Through collaboration, Danish companies are able to maximise their resources and capabilities and target new opportunities in global markets.
Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The SDGs are a guiding light for establishing best food production practices, prioritising research and development efforts and identifying innovation targets that will drive us towards a sustainable future.
Across the Danish food cluster, companies, organisations and stakeholders aim to make an active contribution.
TODAY’S COLLABORATION, TOMORROW’S OPPORTUNITIES
FROM FARMER-OWNED COOPERATIVES TO MULTINATIONAL GROUPS
The land of cooperatives
Until the 1880s, Denmark’s agricultural economy was based on small, independent farms, which faced increasing competition from larger farms in other countries.
The answer was the cooperative – farmer-owned enterprises where the members pooled their economic resources and built factories that could produce uniform, high-quality products faster and more efficiently. Profits were shared, and Danish farmers soon experienced that their livelihoods improved.
After the first cooperative dairy was established in 1882, the cooperative movement spread rapidly, encompassing slaughterhouses, egg exporters and feed mills. Before long, bacon, butter and eggs from Denmark enjoyed significant market shares abroad.
Our strong reputation on export markets still depends on knowledge sharing, continuous innovation and mutual trust across the food sector.
Food Nation’s Stories by Denmark
From the early dairy cooperatives to New Nordic Cuisine, the Danes have always found that working together gets the best results. Hear how a small country made it big in the Food Nation podcast.
INNOVATION HAPPENS WHERE MINDS MEET
THE TRIPLE HELIX MODEL AT THE HEART OF THE FOOD VALUE CHAIN
Knowledge sharing paves the way to bright ideas
The triple helix model – involving industry, academia and government – is the foundation of Denmark’s strongly innovative and coherent food value chain.
Here you’ll find a knowledge-sharing interdependency between:
• Primary agriculture and fisheries
• Manufacturers of ingredients, food, technology and equipment
• Local and national authorities
• Universities and knowledge institutes
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Denmark has the third highest performance score in the 2022 European Innovation Scoreboard. That makes us an innovation leader.
From scientific research to business value
The strong ties between leading universities, research institutes and companies within the Danish food cluster are unrivalled.
Through the universities and research institutes, companies gain knowledge and access to advanced equipment, databases, lab facilities and pilot plants.
One of the research institutes’ most important roles is to help companies put the latest research findings into use, solving challenges and adding value to their business.
FOOD SAFETY MADE BY TEAMWORK
INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS WITH A DANISH HALLMARK
Securing the right to safe and wholesome food
International food safety standards have become more important than ever as food is exported all over the world. The priority is to prevent, eliminate and control foodborne hazards, from the production plant to the point of consumption.
In Denmark, representatives of food safety authorities, industry, research institutes and consumers all contribute to the effort to keep our global food supply safe.
The fact that Danish chicken meat and eggs have a special salmonella-free status in the EU is just one example of this coordinated effort. Another is ISO 22000 – the internationally recognised food safety standard that bears the influence of Danish collaboration.
HARVESTING THE BENEFITS OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
DIGITAL PARTNERSHIPS MEET THE DEMAND FOR TRACEABILITY AND TRUST
The power of data
Globalisation has created vast opportunities for consumers to buy the food products that best fit their wants and needs. At the same time, demand is growing for traceability, transparency and trust in the supply chain.
Digital partnerships help satisfy those expectations – empowering us to harness the power of data to produce more smartly and sustainably and track and control the entire food supply chain.
One example is the Partnership for Precision Agriculture and Smart Regulation – a public-private collaboration that is exploring how technology can optimise production, limit environmental impact and support easier farm inspections by government agencies.
Denmark’s ranking in the EU Digital Economy and Society Index
Danish enterprises lead in the EU for uptake of AI technology
EMPOWERED EMPLOYEES ARE A BUSINESS ASSET
THE DANISH MODEL FOR STABLE LABOUR RELATIONS
An agreement for every workplace
Collective agreements between employers and employees are characteristic of the Danish labour market.
Unlike most other countries where the labour market is regulated by legislation, our trade unions and employer organisations make collective agreements without government involvement.
Any disagreements are typically settled through mediation or arbitration. This approach has gained international renown as ‘the Danish model’.
Today’s collective agreements cover 83 percent of all employees in Denmark and regulate, for example, working hours, pensions, sick pay and overtime.
Trust, collaboration and a flat structure are key to the Danish model’s success – among the reasons why Transparency International ranks Denmark as the least corrupt country in the world.
Keep exploring the Danish strongholds
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