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Nicolaj Perjesi, VisitDenmark

Denmark has great growth potential as a food nation

The global demand for food and agriculture products and solutions is on the rise and Danish food and agriculture companies have a lot to offer international trading partners. A new survey reveals great potential for Denmark to expand its position as a globally recognised food nation. One way of moving forward is by working together to further unfold the core stories about central Danish strongholds in the food sector.

Denmark is a world-leading food nation with a long and proud tradition of producing safe, natural, nutritious and high quality foods – all of which are values and standards in high demand on the global market. We hold great export potential, and the opportunities to expand are right in front of us.

A new survey for Food Nation, carried out by Epinion, indicates that, while Danish food products and solutions are consistently rated highly on numerous essential qualities, Denmark is not yet a country that immediately comes to mind when important international decision makers are asked to think of countries with relevant food products and solutions.

Just 5% of decision makers in the food and agriculture industry in the US, the UK, Germany and China list Denmark among the five first countries coming to mind, when thinking of foreign countries with food products and solutions relevant to their industry. Instead, major food nations such as the US, France and China are taking the lead.


While top-of-mind status is yet to be achieved, it is well within the grasp of the Danish food and agriculture sector. According to Thomas Bustrup, COO at The Confederation of Danish Industry Denmark is widely known and recognised internationally as a frontrunner when it comes to innovative, sustainable, safe and effective food production.

All Danish food companies focus on making their solutions more sustainable, maintaining the high level of food safety that we are known for. This is basically the backbone of the Danish food export. This needs to be top of mind among international decision makers when they look for tomorrow’s solutions

The Danish food arena is experiencing a steady increase in international sales and high quality products and innovative food solutions are in high demand. Thus, the question remains as to how Denmark can translate its current position into an even stronger global image. Danish food and agriculture companies play an important role in this regard. Export driven companies represent Denmark in international markets and hold the dialogue with relevant trading partners. In order to become even more well established alongside other well known food nations, Thomas Bustrup points out the importance of standing together and communicating the strong unified narrative of Denmark’s special areas of expertise within food and agriculture:

In Denmark, we like to face challenges together and the public-private partnership founded with Food Nation to create awareness about Danish solutions is an important step to make a difference globally and meet the massive export potential


The Danish food arena excels in high quality products, food safety, organic production, sustainability and gastronomy. In addition, Danish suppliers are very competitive in innovative food tech solutions as well as strong collaborators. According to Thomas Bustrup, these virtues are the backbone of Danish food export. Promoting them will not only help positioning Denmark as a food nation – the Danish strongholds also work as a solid foundation for export promotions:

My impression is that buyers associate products from Denmark with a high standard of quality and a high level of food safety. But we need to continuously communicate the Danish strongholds to support a strong and export driven business environment for all companies


According to the survey, Denmark is a significant player on the German market, where 11% of the surveyed decision makers trade with Danish food companies. Yet, the percentage of decision makers importing Danish food products and solutions to the US, the UK and China count for less than 5% of the total sample. When, on average, only 5% of decision makers have Denmark top-of-mind, it might be because Danish food and agricultural products and solutions currently count for a minor share of the import in at least three of the markets surveyed.

The percentage of decision makers who have Denmark top-of-mind matches the trade flows. However, the global demand for food products and solutions of Danish standards is on the rise due to a number of pressing circumstances: Food production has multiple effects on the environment, the global population is growing, and consumers are looking for affordable, high quality food as part of a healthy and balanced diet. In this regard, Thomas Bustrup sees great potential for Denmark to expand further as a food nation:

Globally, the food and agriculture sector is facing major challenges of finding sustainable solutions for food production, while meeting the increasing demand for high-quality food. As a food nation that excels in product quality, food safety, innovative solutions and food tech, Denmark has massive growth potential in this business area