Denmark invests 1.25 billion kroner to advance plant-based food research and production

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AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli

Denmark is investing a substantial amount in a bid to become a greener country and fight climate change.
The Danish government is investing 1.25 billion kroner (£170.5 million) in the research, development and production of plant-based food as part of a new climate agreement for food and agriculture.

A 675 million kroner (just under £77 million) Fund for Plant-based Food Products will be allocated for the development and promotion of plant-based food over nine year. The five-year-long Plant-Based Eco-Scheme will allocate a pot of 580M kroner (£66M) payable in bonuses to farmers committed to grow crops to be used for plant-based protein for human consumption.

Furthermore, under an existing environmental technology program funded by the EU, Denmark is looking to invest in machines for the processing of plant-based protein in the near future.

However thenew climate agreement for food and agriculture doesn’t make any provisions to reduce the number of farmed animals and schemes that support the production of animal derived foods such as meat, dairy and eggs, have not been altered.

Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, Secretary General of the Danish Vegetarian Association welcomed the government decision to invest in the plant-based sector, commenting: “Seen in an international context, it is groundbreaking that it has been decided that we must have a national action plan for plant-based foods with concrete objectives, and that we as a country invest a billion in the area. This is one of the largest amounts that a country has invested in plant-based development.”

Denmark has also pledged to cut its agriculture and forestry greenhouse gas emissions by 55% and 65% respectively by 2030, compared with levels in 1990. The agreement also states that nitrogen emissions must be cut down by 10,800 tonnes by 2027.

“With a binding goal, we ensure that the agricultural sector delivers a historically high reduction and that we focus on plant protein, pyrolysis and organics,” Reuters reports Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn saying.

The move was criticised by Greenpeace. In a statement reported by Reuters,Kristine Clement, campaign lead at Greenpeace Denmark, said of the Danish pledge: “A binding reduction target for agriculture of as little as 55% by 2030 is a parody which pushes responsibility on to other sectors.”

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