Denmark announces 1 billion kroner for plant-based foods in historic climate agreement
6 October 2021
The Danish government has announced over 1.25 billion kroner (€168 million) in funding to advance plant-based foods, as part of an unprecedented climate agreement for food and agriculture.
The Danish government has announced over 1.25 billion kroner (€168 million) in funding to advance plant-based foods, as part of an unprecedented climate agreement for food and agriculture. This funding is the largest investment in plant-based research and development by any EU country to date.
The agreement, endorsed by all major parties in the Parliament, acknowledges that plant-based foods must be a “central element in the green transition” and commits the government to creating a national action plan for plant-based food with clear targets for production and sales.
Research by Oxford University shows that the world cannot meet its climate targets without shifting away from conventional animal agriculture. Moving to plant-based meat could reduce climate emissions by up to 90% compared with farming animals.
Under the new agreement, Denmark will create a Fund for Plant-based Food Products, providing 675 million Danish kroner (€90 million) over nine years to support product development and promotion.
For farmers, a five-year Plant-based Eco-scheme will pay 580 million Danish kroner (€78 million) in bonuses to those who grow plant-based protein crops for human consumption.
An existing EU-funded scheme, which provides funding for “environmental technology”, will be expanded to include processing equipment for plant-based foods.
The government will also devise a strategy for “green proteins” for animals and humans, backed by 260 million Danish kroner (€35 million) over five years. This funding is likely to support fermentation-made proteins and cultivated meat (grown from cells), as well as animal feed.
Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, secretary general of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, said: “It is groundbreaking that we will have a national action plan for plant-based foods with specific objectives, and that Denmark will invest more than 1 billion kroner in this area. This is one of the largest amounts that any country has invested in plant-based development.
“This agricultural agreement will create thousands of jobs in the plant-based sector. If more funds are set aside later as part of the ongoing negotiations over research investment, we could see tens of thousands of new jobs.”
Acacia Smith, policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “With this announcement, Denmark has recognised the huge potential of sustainable proteins to drive down agricultural emissions, and established itself as Europe’s biggest public investor in plant-based innovation.
“As they prepare for COP26, governments around the world should be factoring plant-based and cultivated meat into their climate plans. If they are serious about meeting the Paris Agreement and building strong, green economies, they must follow Denmark’s lead and invest in bringing sustainable proteins to consumers’ plates.”