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Pork vs plants

23 February, 2024

Plant-based diets are on the rise, and cities around the world are making plant-based pledges to reduce meat and dairy consumption in public settings to tackle climate change. At a country level, however, there is little evidence of action, and according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, global meat consumption is set to rise by 14% by 2030

However, Denmark has taken a step further than most. In 2021, the Danish government allocated DKr675m (approximately £78 million) to a fund to encourage farmers to produce plant-based foods. Then in October, it became the first country to publish an Action Plan for Plant-based Foods. Also on the horizon is a potential carbon tax on agriculture, with a proposal expected over the coming months. 

Unsurprisingly, plans to discontinue meat production have been met with hostility from farmers. However, the Danish tradition of collaboration, innovation and finding common ground has worked in their favour. Just ask The Vegetarian Society of Denmark who have teamed up with organic farmers and key farming lobby groups and come to an agreement on the economic opportunity presented by organic, plant-based products. 

But with one of our Good Business team having returned from holiday in Copenhagen last week, it’s clear Denmark has its work cut out. You can’t walk far without finding a pølsevogne (or sausage-wagon in English!) Denmark is one of the world’s largest exporters of pork, and it is a firm favourite in Danish cuisine. Despite this, Denmark is leading the charge and embracing plant-based alternatives, as evidenced by the growing sales of plant-based foods and the efforts of companies like Naturli and Hanegal in replacing traditional meat products.  

Ultimately, behaviour change in areas like this will come from a combination of legislation and incentivisation. Let’s hope Denmark’s collaborative and innovative approach to reducing meat consumption can inspire others and encourage politicians around the world to take meaningful action. 

By Charlotte Pounder

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