Scan Magazine, Issue 131, December 2019

Page 86

Photo: Aline Lessner

Healthy growth for Denmark’s farmers Agriculture is facing massive changes. In Denmark, where agriculture makes up 20 per cent of total exports, farming has faced increasingly difficult odds over the past few decades, with the number of independent farmers falling from 63,000 in 1997 to 34,700 in 2017. The agricultural sector has to evolve to survive, and that isn’t necessarily bad news: the agricultural consultants at KF Miljø have actively assisted farmers all over Denmark to reverse their fortunes by tweaking some farms towards sustainable food production and completely reinventing the output of others with assistance from national and EU funding. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: KF Miljø

“It is crucial that farmers think about whether what they’ve made their money on for the last 30 years should and can be the thing they rely on for the next 30 years too,” says CEO and founder Karen Feddersen. “We meet a lot of creative and passionate farmers who are ready for change but just don’t know how to go about it and lack the means to do so, but there are actually lots of subsidies available for farmers willing to update their business structures to align with modern consumer expectations and political requirements.” 86  |  Issue 131  |  December 2019

Founded in 2010, KF Miljø advises all types of agricultural businesses on sustainable investment and environmentally friendly initiatives that help floundering or stagnant farms reinvent themselves. With expertise within subsidies and legal, technical, political and economic re-structuring of agricultural businesses, they have witnessed the massive shift in farming that the past decade has brought to the sector. “The train is leaving, and you either get on it or get left behind,” Feddersen adds. “It’s tough, but it’s the truth.”

Climate-friendly agriculture pays off Farming is diversifying. “Traditionally, and particularly over the past 50 years, there has been tremendous pressure on farmers to grow as much as possible for as little as possible: consumers and retailers have wanted a lot of food at the lowest possible prices,” KF Miljø’s director of development, Jeanette Ørbeck, explains. “In future, we’ll need a

Feddersen and Ørbeck.

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