Denmark’s government is investing $100 million USD into a fund dedicated to plant-based food innovation, education, and sales.
The Danish Agency for Agriculture set up the initiative, called the Plant Fund. The money will be set aside until 2030, with the Danish Plantbased Business Association sitting on the board.
Denmark is already becoming a hub for plant-based food development; brands like Naturli, Dryk, and Cavi-art offer innovative and tasty alternatives to traditional animal based foods. The latter, for example, specializes in seaweed caviar.
But there is room for improvement, and the new fund will help to achieve that. Frederik Madsen, the head of the secretariat in the Danish Plantbased Business Association, said in a statement: “The industry’s Achilles heel is that the market is too small. We will work to ensure that the fund’s funds are primarily used for market development.”
Europe’s growing plant-based food industry
This isn’t the first time Denmark has prioritized plant-based growth. Last year, the government made $90 million USD available to farmers cultivating plant-based agriculture.
Across Europe, governments are investing in plant-based foods. In 2020, a technology fund backed by the Spanish government invested €250,000 in plant-based meat startup Foods for Tomorrow. And in the same year, the French government revealed a plant protein strategy worth €100 million.
The European plant-based market is growing. Last year, a report predicted that by 2028, the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.39 percent. It cited health benefits and animal welfare concerns as two key factors propelling growth.
In 2021, another report found that nearly half of Europeans are actively eating less meat. It found that 37 percent of those surveyed identified as vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian; 46 percent had reduced meat consumption in the last year, and 73 percent were eating fewer meat products than a year ago.