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Denmark: catering and off-trade sales at least 30% organic
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At a dialogue event in Hamburg, organized by the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and the consultancy a’verdis, about 60 participants learned that in Denmark, the off-trade catering market has become the most important grow engine for organic food. About the German development within this branch, Rainer Roehl of a’verdis said: “There is a continuous progress and organic food is used within all segments of the off-trade-food-market. However, we are a good decimal power behind Denmark.” Nonetheless, there is a contrast between Denmark’s and Germany’s frameworks and the respective off-trade markets cannot be compared without further ado. In line with the event’s main focus, Kenneth Højgaard, Carmen I. Calverley and Bente Sloth gave an overview of the Danish off-trade catering market.
Kenneth Højgaard, consultant and former chef, presented the Copenhagen House of Food – a knowledge centre and conversion agency. Since its establishment, the Copenhagen House of Food has entrenched to a focal point for people having questions about the improvement of nutrition and food in public institutions.
Carmen I. Calverley, project manager of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administraion, explained the Organic-Cuisine-Label used to award kitchens in Denmark. The bronze logo is given to kitchens with an organic share of 30 to 60%, silver for 60 to 90% and gold for an organic share of 90 to 100%. “During this year, nearly every day a new kitchen got the Organic-Cuisine-Label”, said Calverly. The label is said to be a real success and isn’t only in demand of the catering trade, but also private restaurants, hotels and catering companies.
Bente Sloth, chef at the University Hospital Aarhus, demonstrated how a constant increase of using organic food can be realized. Her cuisine is labelled with the silver Organic-Cuisine-Label and works with 65% organic food. Such high amounts of organic shares are rare within German hospital catering – not at least because of money. The daily budget for the cost of sales is lower than in Denmark. “We have got less than 4,50 Euro for the daily cost of sales. That’s why we’re very pleased with a non-cash organic share of 15% at the moment”, said Berthold Kohm, operating manager of the Service Company Nordbaden. In the LWL hospitals Münster and Lengerich the organic share amount to 20%. That’s, among other reasons, due to the hospital administration’s high value of the food’s quality, according to Thomas Voß, deputy business director of the clinic.
Important requirements for more organic food in commercial kitchens
Bente Sloth, who works in the kitchen of the University Hospital Aarhus with an organic share of 65%, gave advice on how to increase the amount of organic food:
- Conversion from a cooking shaped by convenience products to a fresher cuisine
- Theoretical and practical training of all employees
- Avoidance of food waste
These companies have clearly increased their organic share already: Martin Friedrich of Esprit (70% organic), Josef Holzer of HiPP (95%) and Rafael Platzbecker of the Landesschulen NRW (55%). In different panels, they were talking about requirements making their organic success possible in the first place:
- Support by their company
- Coherent organic concept
- Convinced initiator within the team, who pursues an organic development within the own kitchen