The City That Eats Organic


Citizens of Copenhagen buy more organic food than any other city in the world - now between 10 to 12 percent of food purchases, according to a new report from National Organic Denmark (Ökologisk Landsförening). Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that 45 percent of the food prepared in city-owned kitchens and cafeterias is organically-grown. And in Denmark the sale of organic products grew 18 percent last year and is expected to grow 25 percent by the end of 2007. How do they do it?

As with its impressive rates of bicycle commuting, in Copenhagen the key is lots of planning. First is goal-setting - the city has planned for 90 percent of the meals it produces to be made from organic ingredients by 2015, while in that same time frame it plans for the city's consumers to choose organic for at least 20 percent of the contents of their grocery carts. Careful nurturing of local organic farmers and development of an active export market for organic products has helped, along with campaigns to help consumers recognize the big red Danish organic label. And in Copenhagen an influential group of chefs (like at Geranium) and food purveyors have adapted organic food partially or wholly into their menus. To reach its future goals, however, the Danish government is considering some new boosts for organic food, and has said it supports the British-French proposal to the EU Commission that 'green' products should enjoy exemption from the value-added (VAT) tax. Tax-free organic food...a delicious concept. Via ::National Organic Denmark

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