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Food innovation in Denmark is ‘a clear political goal’, says Food Nation CEO

While some countries, such as France, Italy or Japan, have for centuries been associated with a refined cuisine, Danish cuisine has undergone something of a revival in recent years.

This transformation is no coincidence, however. It is the result of sustained political interest, according to Lise Walbom, CEO of Food Nation, a public-private partnership created by the Danish government and private companies that works to promote Danish gastronomy and food products.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ own website, twenty years ago traditional Danish food was seen as “low quality and tasteless yet clinically perfect”. ​ In 2005, the Nordic Council of Ministers therefore created the New Nordic Food manifesto as a way of boosting the production and consumption of traditional food products. 

According to Walbom, “the New Nordic Manifesto managed to upgrade and refine these traditions for a more modern palette.”

“New Nordic gastronomy trends have stimulated consumers’ interest in food in general and has created an incentive for farmers and the industry to refine and create innovative products.”

‘A clear political goal’

“Food production is prioritised politically in Denmark,” ​she said. “There is a clearpolitical goal to strengthen, motivate and inspire the entire food cluster to continuously look for new and better gastronomic solutions in every step of the value chain.”

This has meant ambitious research and development projects involving players across the value chain with a focus on resource efficiency, climate, environment and animal welfare – “all of which can be improved​”, she said.

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