When organic sales in Denmark leapt 31% in 2017 to take organic’s share of total food and drink sales to a world-beating 13.3%, the achievement was welcomed in Danish organic circles as “a extraordinary tipping point”.
With further strong market growth in 2018, the Danish organic food community had hopes that organic share could reach a 15% milestone.
But according to a report this week in the Danish grocery industry magazine Dansk Handelsblad, Denmark’s Office of National Statistics has revised down the organic share figure after acknowledging it had significantly underestimated the value of Denmark’s conventional food and drink market.
Using a new, more accurate way of calculating retail sales, Denmark’s organic share has been adjusted to 11.5%.
Statistics Denmark emphasised that the organic sector’s figures are themselves accurate, it is only the market share figure that was called into question.
In reality, Denmark’s organic industry delivered another year of strong growth in 2018, with retail sales up 14% to be worth 16 billion DKK (1.5 billion EUR). Danish organic exports were also at an all-time high at DKK 2,951 – here Germany is the biggest export market (representing 42% of export business), followed by Sweden (16%), China (10%) and France (7%).
But as Dansk Handelsblad points out, Denmark’s lower organic share will cause some pain for the Danish organic industry, not least because its Nordic organic rival Sweden is that much closer to Denmark’s ‘world-leading organic nation’ status. It also means that the pressure is now on for Denmark, if it is to meet its ’30% organic by 2030’ target. As Henrik Hindborg of Denmark’s Organic Land Association commented, “that is a relatively large leap”.
Main image: Organic sales in Denmark grew 14% in 2018 (photo, Organic Denmark)