‘Denmark can take the lead in global food challenges’: MFVM details investment programme

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

The Danish government recently unveiled plans to step up investment in food and ingredients research and development, stating that the country can “take the lead” in tackling global food insecurity and providing innovative new solutions that advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The Ministry of the Environment and Food (MFVM) will pump DKK25 million into 14 new initiatives that aim to support the country’s ingredient exporters and attract foreign investment. Among other things, the MFVM is throwing its weight behind further research into more sustainable ingredients that can be used to manufacture healthier foods.

“The ingredient industry plays a major role in the development of resource efficient and sustainable feed and food production globally, for example, by improving feed and food properties or by exploiting side streams that would otherwise be wasted,”​ MFVM said in a statement.

“The development of ingredients and products that can help slow the global epidemic of lifestyle diseases (NCD) is necessary and in demand. This can give the ingredient industry a significant role in a significant commercial market.”

The Ministry highlighted the importance of developing new ingredients that can be used as alternatives to salt, fat or sugar. It said it would work to raise awareness of diet in Denmark, including through its Keyhole nutritional labelling initiative.

This policy, the MFVM stressed, will also deliver positive consequences for population health in Denmark. According to estimates from the Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Danish health services will save DKK150-240 million annually on costs related to cardiovascular disease alone, if Danes lower their salt intake by 3g per daily.

Closer collaboration between regulators, researchers and business

While Denmark is a relatively small country, it has a significant ingredients industry, which generates exports of around DKK26.6 billion per year.

The MFVM said that Danish producers face “great competition” in the global ingredients market.

“We cannot rest on our laurels if we are to fulfil the great potential for further increasing Danish exports of ingredients.”

Through the funding, MFVM said it hopes to encourage greater collaboration between regulators, research institutions and businesses in Denmark as part of an Innovation Partnership. It is a follow up to government strategy, announced in January, that aims to create “better growth conditions” for the industry. The MFVM said that it wanted to remove “unnecessary obstacles” preventing products from getting to market.

The Danish authorities said they will establish an ingredients industry forum, anchored in the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and supported by a dedicated ingredients team, to focus on the “special challenges”​ facing ingredients manufacturers. It will also step up support for companies facing challenges under the current rules for novel food authorisation.

Additionally, the Danish regulators are supporting a mapping project to produce a knowledge database of existing research.

The full report can be read here, available in Danish​. 

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