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The Danish Agriculture and Food Sector Steps Up Regarding Circularity

With the aim of reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the increasing demand for greener solutions, the Danish agriculture and food industry has taken various steps across the value chain towards a sustainable path and a more circular economy.

Circular innovation within the Danish agriculture and food sector has e.g. provided various answers to the question of how we reduce food loss and waste in a sustainable way. The industry is working hard to find solutions that can utilise or recirculate raw materials in the best way, so side streams can be utilised and packaging is reused.

From surplus to food – from waste to resource

Innovative solutions with a circular mindset are on the rise and provide businesses and consumers all over the world with the opportunities to take part in responsible food consumption and production. Here are some examples from the Danish agriculture and food sector:

  • The Danish bakery ‘Jalm&B’ who has brought innovative and sustainable solutions to the table. Their IPA Beer Bun is baked with surplus products from the production of Danish IPA beers and the water used for the burger buns has been replaced with excess water, so-called ‘fermentate’. Leftover bread from the bakery goes into the circular journey again, as it is used to brew beer at breweries or as an ingredient in ice cream, thereby, avoiding that good produce going to waste and giving it value.
  • The small Danish food and ingredient producer, Circular Food Technology upcycles spent grain from breweries, that would otherwise be wasted, to produce protein and fiber-rich ingredients that preserve the fine aromatic nuances of the beer.
  • In another step of the beer value chain, the brewery giant Carlsberg is converting all wraps on can packaging to 100% recycled plastic. The recycled plastic reduces the CO2 footprint by 60% compared to traditional plastic packaging and is a part of the company’s sustainability program, Together Towards ZERO.
  • Peter Larsen Coffee has launched The Circular Coffee Community, which aims to push the entire coffee industry in a more sustainable direction. For example, it is about reducing the amount of waste and loss in every step. Partly by using the whole coffee plant as opposed to today, where a vanishingly small portion of the biomass and less than 1% of the many nutrients of the coffee plant are utilised. And partly by recycling and upcycling what is left over when the coffee is brewed and drunk.
  • Through a partnership, Aarhus Water, Herning Water, Grundfos, Norconsult and SEGES succeeded in transforming phosphorus into fertiliser instead of waste. The partnership has developed a concept, where phosphorus in wastewater is recycled and sold as high-quality fertiliser under the name “PhosphorCare”.
  • The Danish startup ‘Reduced’ provides consumers with sustainable products with their tasty broth made from surplus goods such as organic seasonal vegetables, proteins, and other sources of nutritional leftovers.

Eager to learn more about circularity?

In May 2022, Circular City Week once again takes place in New York – an open collaborative festival for circular economy-related events. The activities during Circular City Week emphasise how circular practices such as reuse, recycling, and upcycling are transforming urban industries and the city as a whole. Join Circular City Week, where you can meet speakers from Denmark and all over the world presenting their circular solutions.

Read more about Circular City Week.