A recent report shows that Denmark’s financial sector lacks the objectives, knowledge, and ambition to invest in sustainable foods while it continues to support animal agriculture.

A new report called The Role of the Financial Sector in the Transition towards a More Plant-Based Food System shows that Denmark’s financial sector lacks the objectives, knowledge, and ambition to invest in sustainable foods while it continues to support animal agriculture.

The study, which benchmarked 27 of the largest banks in Denmark, says that the sector is not financing the plant-based industry or the agricultural production of plant-derived crops enough, neglecting the potential of plant-based diets to address sustainability in the food system.

Recently released by the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, Greenpeace, Green Transition Denmark, and Animal Protection Denmark, the report is said to be the most significant review of Danish banks’ actions regarding food production.

A thread to the future

“It seems like many banks fail to acknowledge the seriousness and the scientific fact that we need to reduce intensive animal production. The sector needs to wake up and realize that it needs to make massive investments to transition to climate and environmentally friendly plant-based food production in Denmark,” said Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, the secretary general of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark.

According to the report, to achieve climate targets, the food system needs to transition from animal-dominant, using most crops to feed farm animals, to plant-based food for humans instead. The Danish Climate Council, an independent adviser to Denmark’s government, recently recommended reducing meat consumption to help the country meet its climate goals.

“It is about time for Danish banks to wake up to the reality that we are actually in the midst of a global climate and biodiversity crisis. Agriculture and food production are on a collision course with our own livelihood, and banks need to understand that continued loans and investments in industrial mass production of meat and milk, which we need to move away from, pose both a gigantic financial risk and a threat to our future and our children’s future,” commented Kristine Clement, campaign manager for Agriculture, Forestry, and Nature at Greenpeace Denmark.

Not only “quick-fixes”

The report includes a chart outlining the 27 banks’ actions or inactions in climate and environmentally-friendly initiatives. It provides examples of positive initiatives and offers ten proposals for practices and investments for future-proof food production.

Banks’ financing and advisory services are crucial to transforming agriculture and food production. Therefore, financial institutions must set specific goals to contribute to transforming our society, fiercely argues the report.

“If we are to succeed in securing the future of our agriculture, it is problematic to invest solely in technological quick-fixes that do not truly address the challenges we are facing,” added Dragsdahl, referring to the support that technological innovations in feed efficiency and manure management (mentioned in the report) are getting from banks as a solution for the climate crisis.

Original source: https://vegconomist.com