chapter  16
12 Pages

Assessing the International Competitiveness of the Danish Food Sector

WithAage Walter-Jørgensen

The frame of policy for agriculture is crucial for international competitiveness. The Danish food industry tends to concentrate on a few, specialized products of high quality for which there is an international market. The high intensity of animal production sets focus on the impact of agriculture on the environment, pollution of streams and open waters being of primary concern in Denmark. The competitive position of the food sector, therefore, strongly depends on the performance of primary agriculture and of the ability of farmers to adapt to changes in the economic and political environment. The export position of Danish agriculture can be traced back to the latter part of last century where, in the wake of the industrial development of the 18th century, there was a growing demand for processed agricultural products. This, combined with an increasing supply of cereals from the American market, provided the basis for a rapid expansion of animal production.