This year, the red ‘Ø’ organic label has been in existence for 30 years. This label can be found on an increasing number of products in Denmark. Since this brand's introduction, the desire for organic products amongst the Danes has increased steadily.
At Økologisk Landsforening (the association for organic farmers, companies, and consumers), they want even more Danes to choose organic in the future. This ambition is based on the last 30 years' progress. Ecologists must, therefore, be on the frontline. They must help meet climate change challenges in the agricultural sector.
"The organic market has grown and is well consolidated. It can, however, not decline. The Ø brand is strong, and the organic sector is growing steadily. These factors must be used to go a step further. In the future, people must get more and better opportunities to make sustainable choices," says Per Kølster, Økologisk Landsforening's chairperson, in a press release.
In 1989, Denmark was the first country in the world to have organic legislation. Nowadays, the Danes are the frontrunners when it comes to buying organic products. At Økologisk Landsforening, they have determined that people have moved from buying just basic organic products to specialty products too.
Kølster says, “Consumers used to focus on the basic products such as dairy and vegetables. Now, they want organic niche and trendy items too. Think of drinks, snacks, and chocolate. That means more new, small businesses are entering the market. Existing companies are also expanding their range."
30 years of constant growth
According to Økologisk Landsforening, 14% of Danish food purchases are now organic. Epinion did a new survey on behalf of this association. It shows that that percentage is set to increase significantly in the future. In the study, 74% of the Danes surveyed said they expect to buy more organic food in the future.
Økologisk Landsforening is, therefore, not afraid to set an ambitious ten-year goal. This goal concerns the development of the organic sector. "Consider this sector's growth and success. We can, therefore, set our sights high. We think the organic agricultural area will be 30% in 2030. Of the purchases made then, 30% will consist of organic products," concludes Per.
That 30% of the agricultural area will be organic is historically realistic. Since 2007, Denmark's organic agricultural area has increased by 86%.