DARCOF > Organic farming in Denmark

What is organic farming?
The Nordic ecological associations have accepted the following description of organic farming:

"Organic farming describes a self-sustaining and persistent agro-ecosystem in good balance. As far as possible, the system is based on local and renewable resources. It builds on a holistic view that incorporates the ecological, economical and social aspects of agricultural production in both the local and global perspectives.

In organic farming nature is considered as a whole with its own innate value, and man has a moral obligation to farm in such a way that cultivated landscape constitutes a positive aspect of nature."
Organic farming is thus distinguished from conventional agriculture by exercising particular respect for the environment, nature, and animal welfare, etc.

Theese basic principles of organic farming are discussed in a discussion document (pdf 212 kb) prepared for the DARCOF Users Committee.

To secure that the aim and principles are performed, a large number of Danish and European rules have been introduced. In Denmark the certification is conducted by the Danish Plant Directorate, who has prepared an instruction, that summaries the valid Danish rules. A study on comparison of international and national organic regulations and private standards, was carried out in 1996-98.

Farms and production area
In 2001 there were a total of 3525 certified farms (farmers), 276 of these were in conversion.

The total production area was 173497 hectares. Of these 41511 hectares were in conversion.

Statistics are gathered by the Danish Plant Directorate

Consumer demand
There is a high demand for organic product in Denmark. For products like fresh organic milk the consumption amounts to app. 30 percent of the total consumption.

The demand is investigated in the research project Consumer Demand for Organic Foods - Domestic and Foreign Market Perspectives

Action Plans
In 1999 the second Danish action plan was prepared in order to support the development of organic farming.

Among otheres the Action Plan identify and assess the need for initiatives and action with the aim of securing continued growth within organic food production and the sale of organic foods.

Support to Organic Farming in Denmark
1987 the Danish government has supported the expansion of organic farming by legislation authorising financial support (pdf 14 kb).