Are you worried about the climate? If yes, you are not alone.
Illustration by Rasmus Sand Høyer
Here are a few clippings from recent studies: The Danes are generally the most climate-worried in the EU, 8 out of 10 consider climate change as a “very serious problem”, and almost 50 per cent of the Danes believe that climate policy is a top priority in the coming parliamentary elections.
Future consumers, the young people, are at the forefront of the climate movement, so it may not be strange that sustainability and considerations about the climate have become a huge trend in the food sector. All the major members of Danish Food Cluster – Arla Foods, Carlsberg and Danish Crown – have announced ambitions to produce in a completely climate-neutral manner. Not to mention Chr. Hansen, who supplies ingredients for food globally, and who not only has objectives: The company has just been named the world’s most sustainable company.
For some companies, sustainability is an active choice that changes the business in a less climate-threatening direction. Others are born sustainable with a desire to take better care of nature’s resources as part of the idea base. So the timing is good when the cluster holds its anniversary on 21 March 2019 where the theme is sustainability as the driving force for innovation.
The anniversary is held at Møllerup Estate in Djursland, which in itself is a good example of how a desire for more sustainable food production can lead to new products. The headline is hemp, and no – it’s not about fun tobacco. It is hemp as a Danish crop that is transformed into both oil, pesto and granola, adds value to facial cream and lip balm and supplies plant fibres for mats and furniture. Another example is the nominees for this year’s “Food Innovator Award”, which will be presented at A Great Day for Food Innovation 2019. The list includes Jan Lund from Naturli’ in Randers, who globally has success with sustainable alternatives to milk and meat, Gitte Haar from KLS Pureprint, who leads the way with biodegradable food packaging, and Lars Aaen Thøgersen from Peter Larsen Coffee in Viborg, for whom beans and social responsibility goes hand in hand. Another nominee comes from the heart of Aarhus in the form of Soup Nerds with Michael Hübertz in the lead, who deals with the planet’s challenges by making soups that are not only meat-free but also taste delicious.
In this way, sustainability is not just a cool headline but also a real catalyst for new solutions that can both improve the lives of future generations and for us today.
For some companies, sustainability is an active choice that changes the business in a less climate-threatening direction. Others are born sustainable with a desire to take better care of nature’s resources as part of the idea base. But for all companies – both within food and in many other industries – the movement involves a chain reaction of new thinking. If Arla Foods or Danish Crown is to produce milk and chops in a climate-neutral manner, both housing and production must be put into place within both logistics and packaging. If Carlsberg wants to reduce plastic waste, many work processes must be considered from the beginning. An example is the Snap Pack, which ties canned beer and replaces the plastic that the so-called six-packs of beer were previously packed in. The invention alone reduces plastic consumption in six-packs by up to 76%. So there is hope for the future, for the present and for innovation.