Latest news:
Click here

June 22nd 2001

Chicken farmers will get points for animal welfare
The Task Force on Animal Feeding and Danish experts in animal welfare will late summer release a system of giving points for the quality of life for organic chicken. The Animal Ethical Council published in the beginning of this week a report, showing that the mortality of organic chicken in Denmark is three-four times higher than that of conventional chicken. On that basis the council proposed for example to cage the chicken to prevent them from pecking eachother. The trade organization of organic chicken farmers (Brancheforeningen for Økologiske Æg- og Fjerkræproducenter) refuses such ideas completely, emphasizing that organic chicken welfare is a matter of taking right precautions and also choosing the breeds best capable of a natural life. On the other hand the trade organization warmly welcomes a quality control system, ensuring that farmers will be fined or eventually even deprived of their authorization, if they don't show will to change, after having problems in their poultry keeping pointed out. Otherwise such farmers will damage the image of the whole branch.

June 21st 2001

Black out Bush with
By way of chain emails The Green House Network proposes that the world tonight makes a stand and protest against US president George Bush for his rejection of the Kyoto agreement. With everybody turning off the light between 7 and 10 pm, a voluntary blackout will roll across the planet - and hopefully reach the White House, as well. But the American based network has probably not taken into account that the North of Europe is located as Northern as Alaska, and that the sun on this the longest day of the year therefore is still high up in the sky during the happening. So it will be difficult for us Northerners to black out the Earth.

But wanting to back up the good cause, the "scientific department" of has developed a technical solution of the activist problem. Danes and other North Europeans who wish to support the blackout action can push here at 7 pm.

June 19th 2001

Sales drive for Danish organic food in Sweden, USA - and at home
Based on a promising report about the outlet at the Swedish market, The Centre for Organic Agriculture in Denmark and The Agricultural Council of Denmark last week put Danish organic producers in contact with Swedish retailers. Among other things the companies were cleared about their stand in relation to KRAV certification - which the most interesting Swedish partners demand. The same two organizers also cooperate about a sales drive for Danish organic food products at the Fancy Food fair in New York July 8-10th.

There hasn't been much marketing for organic products at the Danish home market through the past many years of steady growth, but recently the sales in the retail trade seem to have stagnated. Therefore organic meat and milk producers will campaign through the Autumn to increase sales in selected supermarkets, such as Kvickly and Superbrugsen from Coop Denmark FDB, ISO and Irma.  

June 6th 2001

Nonfood and pet food included in organic rules
Next Christmas will be the first time that Christmas trees can legally be marked with the red organic logo of Denmark. And already now the pets of the family can have their titbits certified organic, bearing the same logo. The Task Force on Animal Feeding under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has with a new order made it possible to use the popular logo on nonfood products, produced according to the organic rules. At the same time The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has included dog and cat food in the rules for organic food - so that it can be marked by the red logo.

June 1st 2001

The Oe-brand
The Danish organic logo

Danish organic rules may shift to private hands
The responsibility of working out and administering the Danish organic rules may shift from the hands of the state to a private agency in Denmark. Advantages and disadvantages are now being examinated by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. The aim with such a shift is mainly to make it possible to have the Danish organic control system accredited by IFOAM to ease the export of Danish organic products to the expanding markets of not least Great Britain, Sweden, Germany and Holland.

May 30th 2001

Ritt Bjerregaard
Ritt Bjerregaard has
lost patience with EU

Pesticides not allowed across the Danish border
The Danish Foodminister Ritt Bjerregaard now puts a ban on import of fruit and vegetables with residues of pesticides not approved in Denmark, since The European Commission will evidently not attain its objective of evaluating the 850 pesticides on market before 2003.

- We need some clear rules. EU is making slow progress, so it is only reasonable that we ourselves secure that imported products don't contain things we do not want or know about, says Ritt Bjerregaard today. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration made a report in 1999 showing that two thirds of the imported fruit and one fifth of the imported vegetables contained residues of pesticides. Ritt Bjerregaards present initiative is received positively by all parts in Denmark.

May 14th 2001

Renate, Ritt og Margareta
From left: The agricultural ministers Renate Künast (Germany),
Ritt Bjerregaard (Denmark) and Margareta Winberg (Sweden)
at the presentation of the Copenhagen Declaration

First step to a European Action Plan
The Copenhagen Declaration has just been made as an important step towards the foundation of an Action Plan for the development of organic food and farming in all of Europe. It was signed Friday 12th of May by representatives of 12 European governments at the European Conference - Organic Food and Farming. The promoter of the declaration, the Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Ritt Bjerregaard, is first and foremost supported by her two strong "sisters" in European agriculture: German minister of agriculture Renate Künast, representing the biggest country in Europe, and Swedish minister of agriculture Margareta Winberg, representing the present chairmanship of EU. Winberg stated that she will put the topic of the Action Plan at the table of the next EU Council meeting in Göteborg in June, and Bjerregaard urged Künast to make Germany the host of a follow up conference in the near future. Ritt Bjerregaard's opening speech is published - as well as others - on the official webpage.

May 7th 2001

Økomælk's "light milk" Letmælk

Fully organic milk ready for Thursday
As mentioned March 20th two Danish dairies have decided to make their organic milk from cows fed with 100 percent organic fodder. Now they  compete to be first to make the change. ØkoMælk started out with the 1st of June, and recently Arla Foods set the same date in stead of - as first decided - 1st of October. Then today ØkoMælk has sent out a press release to inform that already Thursday this week the small pioneer dairy will be ready with the new "100 percent" organic milk. As member of the Danish Organic Trade Association Ø-gruppen, ØkoMælk sponsors milk products at the European Conference, Organic Food and Farming, starting the same day. As proof of Denmark’s leading position within organic foods ØkoMælk will attend as the first dairy to produce milk from cattle fed 100% organically.  

May 3rd 2001

New low fat organic milk boosts Danish market
Since two kinds of new lowfat milk was introduced in February - first by the small all organic Thise Dairy, then by the giant dairy Arla Foods in an homogenized version - it has become the most popular kind of milk on the Danish market. The Minimælk from Arla is now the bestselling milk of the company and represents 29 percent of their sales of organic fresh milk. Thise's Jersey-milk sells so well that the dairy cannot fulfill the demand - and looks forward to getting more producers in autumn. Thise sells more than ever in general, and especially the lowfat products, included cheese, are popular with the customers.

May 1st 2001

Danish patent for testing organic products
The Danish scientist Vagn Gundersen from Risø National Laboratory is trying to take out a patent for a method to prove whether something has been grown organically or not. The method investigates the content of elements in the products. By investigating the content of 60 different elements in onions, Risø scientists found big differences in the amount, depending on how the onions - all of the same sort - were grown. Mr. Gundersen explains in a press release that he built his work hypothesis on the fact that there is a big difference in the microbiological activity in organically and conventionally grown soil - and that it would be strange if it did not have an effect on the products. He believes that it will be possible in a couple of years to prove whether an egg comes from a cage chicken or from organic production.

April 17th 2001

European ministers swarm to conference in Denmark
The program of the big European Conference "Organic Food and Farming" in Copenhagen 10th-11th of May (mentioned February 21st) is now available on a new website. The list of speakers, only, indicate that quite a few European politicians have accepted the invitation of the Danish minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Ritt Bjerregaard, to come. Four agriculture ministers - from Sweden, Austria, Germany and Norway - will speak, as well as the Danish prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Other speakers are: IFOAM president Gunnar Rundgren,  IFOAM executive director Bernward Geier, and Soil Association president Jonathan Dimbleby.

What happened earlier? Click here