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Danish-Indonesian cooperation brings organic to the world’s fourth largest population

Indonesia is to introduce organic following the Danish model to its population of more than 270 million people.

The red Ø is known by close to all consumers in Denmark. But it is probably only the few who thinks about how the rules and control of the organic producers are connected. However, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture shows great interest in that exact knowledge.

“The Indonesian government has a strong desire to develop their own market for organic. And of all the countries with organic, they have turned their attention to Denmark to get a bite of our many years of experience. We are of course quite proud of that,” said Birgitte Wiedemann Daabeck, Special Consultant at the Danish Agency for Agriculture.

In November 2021, an Indonesian delegation flew the 11 thousand kilometers that separate Jakarta from Copenhagen as they were curious about the Danish organic dairy production. Their trip included a visit to a South Jutland dairy farmer, an introduction to the organic control at Augustenborg Castle and a trip to a organic congress.

“We are excited to see how organic works in practice in a country like Denmark. Our goal with the trip is to gather a lot of good experience that we can use in the development of our own organic production for the benefit of the environment, animal welfare and our export opportunities,” said Boethdy Angkasa, Associate Livestock Products Quality Supervisor at the Directorate of Processing and Marketing for Livestock Products of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture.

A small country can make a big difference

The role of the Danish Agency for Agriculture is to contribute expert knowledge about rules and controls in the area.

“When a consumer buys a liter of Danish organic milk, we have checked both animal welfare, feed, space requirements and much more at least once a year. This is something the delegation needs to hear more about,” said Birgitte Wiedemann Daabeck.

In 1987, Denmark became the first country in the world to have an organic law passed. In this connection, a state control system was established and the red Ø was created in 1990. However, it is not the ambition for Indonesia to import the Danish Ø together with the rules and controls that come with it.

“They have to develop their own system that fits the Indonesian agriculture. And when a country with more than 270 million inhabitants embarks on an organic transformation, there is no doubt that we as a small country in the Nordic Region can help make a big difference in the world,” says Birgitte Wiedemann Daabeck.

Facts about the project

  • Until 2024, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, in collaboration with the Danish Agency for Agriculture, will look at legislation and control of organic dairy farming in Indonesia.
  • Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture will increase the share of organic produced goods significantly from 2% to 20% by 2024 to improve public health, increase economic growth among dairy farmers and work for world goals.
  • The project is a so-called strategic sector cooperation and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Danida funds.

Source: Press release from the Danish Agricultural Agency (in Danish)