Source: Organic Denmark
Organic Denmark applauds the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mette Gjerskov, for her ambition for 60 % organic food in all public kitchens in Denmark. The ambition is included in the new national budget and money is ensured for guidance and economic support to the municipalities and the regions regarding the change towards more organic food.
Every day 500,000 meals are served in the public sector in Denmark. In the future 60 % of the food in hospitals, schools, care homes and other public institutions will be organic. In the new proposal for the national budget, the Government has reserved 72 million DKK (close to 10 million euros) over two years to convert public kitchens to use more organic food. "As organic food brings so many advantages to society it is obvious that the state buys organic food in order to protect nature and the groundwater. It is encouraging that the new government will let their approaches be followed by specific actions”, says Paul Holmbeck, manager at Organic Denmark. "Converting to organic food in public kitchens will imply a reorganization of traditional farm land to organic in a way which will exceed everything we have seen in the latest 10 years”.
The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries will support the municipalities with resources to the reorganization of the kitchens. Experiences show that running a kitchen with a healthier and organic food range is possible within the existing budgets by reducing food waste, buying food according to the season and use of more vegetables and less meat. “We need more intelligent solutions like this where more goals are achieved at the same time. The public kitchens will be a driving force for the development of both organic food and public health. At the same time it is a professional boost to the hard working people in the kitchens”, says Paul Holmbeck and continues: “Experiences from the municipalities in Copenhagen and Albertslund show a significant development when a specific political goal is set for converting the kitchens. At the same time it is very positive that the government helps the municipalities and the regions with support and co-financing of the costs related to converting.”
More organic food in public kitchens is part of a proposal from Organic Denmark to an organic growth package. They also recommend a significant effort regarding organic product development, organic research, organic biogas solutions and new initiatives helping young farmers with starting up organic farming. Organic Denmark is in a dialogue with politicians regarding these further initiatives and will meet the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. “If negotiations are successful, we will see a historic growth package for organic food", Paul Holmbeck says. (Pictures by Organic Denmark: Skolemad Freinetskolen)