Organic milk has 44.6% of the market share across all supermarkets in Denmark, Paul Holmbeck told Ireland's Biological Farming Conference in Adare on Tuesday 7 November.

Overall, organics has 13% of the total food market share in Denmark, the organics adviser told the conference.

There has been a fivefold increase of organics in Denmark’s food service industry over the last 10 years, while online sales of organic produce are also on the up.

Over 11% of organic food is sold online and delivered directly to consumers’ doors.

Doubled the area

“We’ve doubled the organic area [in Denmark] from 2007 to 2020 and have set a new goal to double this again by 2030.

"Organics has large percentages of many production areas - 25% of all eggs produced are organic, 30% of veggies are organic, 13% of all milk is organic,” Holmbeck said.

Organic farmers, he added, are earning more on average than conventional farmers in eight out of the last 10 years.

However, none of this happened on its own, Holmbeck said, adding that market growth and acceptance of organics within agricultural communities was driven by market initiatives, policy and the capacity of growth in the sector.

For the first time, organics is a pillar of EU climate biodiversity policy

Organic Denmark, the country’s national organic brand, was established around the basis that it was authentic and trustworthy for consumers, Holmbeck said.

"For the first time, organics is a pillar of EU climate biodiversity policy, policy for creating stronger rural livelihoods and food safety.

"The 25% goal of organic area in the EU is based on that recognition. Now all 27 member states have goals for organic farming and they vary from 5% to 35%, but everyone is lifting and setting higher goals," he said.

Political support

National policy and support from the government, Holmbeck said, accelerated uptake of organic produce in Denmark.

Denmark's government put in place a national goal of 60% organic produce in all public kitchens, provided support for education in city kitchens and created a national organic cuisine label.