Organic farming - Organic Food production in Denmark




Organic - Get inspired by Denmark's leading organic position

Organic food production has put Denmark on the world map as the organic frontrunner for several years.  The widespread usage and high knowledge of organic labels among both private and professional buyers keep the whole Danish value chain of organic food production on track regarding product development and in handling large scale production. As a business partner with the organic sector in Denmark, you can share and learn from our experience as the world’s leading organic nation.

A political priority – developed and supported by actors in the value chain

Organic food production is prioritised politically in Denmark. With ambitious research and development efforts, it will be further developed by the support, knowledge and experience of all the participants in the value chain. This includes resource efficiency, climate, environment and animal welfare – all of which can be improved. One example is the recycling of nutrients, where efforts must be made for Denmark and the rest of the EU to bring more recycled nutrients into organic food production. In Denmark, we are already tackling the challenges in production and are currently working on new solutions. One example of the solutions in organic food production is a new biorefining technique transforming green herbage into protein feed for organic chickens.

Denmark has expertise in recycling nutrients into organic food production

Cooperation and trusted state control form the basis for success

In Denmark, organic food production is built up around a state controlled system, which covers the whole food chain. All organic farms have at least one yearly inspection in addition to risk assessment oversight.
Denmark’s organic farmed land area is growing as many Danish farmers convert to organic production. In 2019, the total organic area was 11.3% of Denmark’s farmland. This development can be partially credited to promotion through political initiatives, including the organic area scheme. In this scheme, a farmer receives DKK 1,200 (€160) per ha. per. year as a subsidy in the first two years after conversion.

The rules for organic farming in Denmark are the same as those in other EU member states. In addition to these rules, Danish farmers, companies and trade associations have introduced voluntary guidelines that are stricter. These include prohibiting the use of nitrite in processed foods; a reduction in the use of fertilisers and a total transportation time of live animals that must not exceed 8 hours – direct from production unit to the slaughterhouse. These are good examples of how we are always seeking better solutions in our food production.


In addition to EU rules, Danish farmers, companies and trade associations have introduced voluntary guidelines that are much stricter

Organic labels – a Danish specialty

The Danish organic label clearly indicates that the specific production is controlled by the Danish state. An impressive 100% of the Danish population knows about the label. The foodservice industry has its own label, indicating the share of organic raw food products used in the kitchen. The Organic Cuisine Label is also state-controlled and free to get. The label comes in three categories: gold, silver and bronze, which indicates if large-scale kitchens use 100-90%, 90-60% or 60-30% organic produce (June 2017). 2,058 public and private large-scale kitchens have an organic cuisine label and 58% of Danes know the label .
Organic food isn’t just on the shopping list in private homes, but also in large-scale kitchens, with the sale of organic produce to the foodservice sector quadrupling over a period of 6 years. In 2016, the turnover of organic food in the Danish foodservice was 280 million euros. Dairy, colonials and fruit and vegetables represent the biggest share of organic food products in Danish foodservice.

The Danish organic label clearly indicates that the specific production is controlled by the Danish state

By working with organic food products at the high Danish level, and being able to stick to the budget, the Danish food services have experience with the use of less and different meats; cooking from scratch with seasonal products and using different bread types, whole foods and vegetables to give meals more volume and reduce food waste.

As a business partner to the Danish food cluster, you will be able to bring our experience and know-how within organic food production to develop your business.