Arla Foods to head Danish initiative to boost exports

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Food ingredients, such as enzymes and cultures, and proteins are currently the biggest growth segments in the Danish food industry. ©iStock
Food ingredients, such as enzymes and cultures, and proteins are currently the biggest growth segments in the Danish food industry. ©iStock

Related tags Denmark

A major push to create new jobs and increase exports in the Danish food sector by more than DKK 30bn (€4bn) has been backed by food industry giants Arla Foods, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen.

The Food Partnership initiative is set to receive financial backing from the Danish government to the tune of DKK 20m (€2.6m) over four years.

In addition the initiative will receive funding from a number of companies including Arla Foods, Danish Crown and Carlsberg.

Representatives from these companies along with members from the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, the Ministry of Environment and Food, the Ministry of Business and Growth and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark will also go on to form a managing board.

The board will join a secretariat in setting up a long-term strategy to strengthen Danish industry as a primary producer of products, ingredients and machinery and equipment.

The plan also aims to put in place incentives that hope to attract top talent to the Danish food cluster.  

The Food Partnership

soy bean protein soya iStock naito8
Danish companies such as Arla and Chr Hansen have dairy expertise that have proved valuable in sourcing protein alternatives. ©iStock/naito8

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark have estimated a workforce in the Danish food ingredient sector of 18,000 specialists - 6,000 of which are based in Denmark.

"The Danish food cluster builds on cooperation and innovation,”​ said Torben Ladegaard, former CEO of the FOSS Group, who has been appointed chairman of the board for the initiative.

“I’m convinced that cooperation is the key to success for the Food Partnership. Our challenge is to coordinate efforts so that everyone in the food cluster is pulling in the same direction,"​ he added.

The government says around 14% of all food ingredients supplied to the global industry such as enzymes, cultures and proteins come from Denmark. 

This is inspected to increase thanks to the growth of Danish strongholds such as bio ingredients, probiotics, sweeteners, proteins and emulsifiers.

Between them, Chr Hansen and DuPont have an 80% share of the global market for cultures.

In addition, DuPont and Novozymes contribute to 75% of global sales of food enzymes, which keep products like bread and high-yield juice fresh.

Sustainability a goal

“It is essential that, as a country, we focus on finding answers to the considerable future food challenges by creating natural, healthy and sustainable food products for an ever-growing world population,”​ said CEO of Arla Foods, Peder Tuborgh.

“Huge efforts have been invested in bringing to life this narrative about the Danish food sector and now our efforts are being rewarded with this initiative, which I'm sure will strengthen the collaborative efforts between the State, the food sector and other stakeholders."

The Food Partnership has been set up in a similar vein to the Danish government’s ‘State of Green,’ a platform for showcasing and branding Danish green-tech solutions.

Here Danish companies in the fields of energy, climate, water and environment collaborated on a series of measures designed to strengthen international relations.

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