Danish meat and agriculture to merge

The Danish Meat Association (DMA) is to merge with Denmark's two agriculture bodies to create an umbrella organisation which represents the industry 'from farm to fork'.

The Landbrugsraadet (The Danish Agricultural Council) and Dansk Landbrug (Danish Agriculture) are to unite with the DMA in order to streamline the operations of all three organisations and deliver more efficient services to members.

Asger Krogsgaard, chairman of Danske Slagterier and DMA, said: "The common challenges the three organisations face mean that determining the ideal operating structure for future success of the industry can best be achieved by a single organisation. Furthermore, the merger will result in increased efficiency and lower total costs for all our members."

Peter Gaemelke, chairman of Dansk Landbrug and president of Landbrugsraadet, pointed out that meat is Denmark's number one export and the industry is facing increasing challenges due to "tight regulations and national legislation that can make competition in the global market place difficult." The new organisation will work closely together with both Government and the industry itself to identify solutions to these challenges.

The headquarters of the new organisation, which is yet to be named, will be at Axelborg in Copenhagen. The governing body will consist of six persons, representing both farmers and the food industry, with two separate boards to safeguard the individual interests of both groups. These will also be supported by a single board responsible for overseeing strategy, operating procedures and financial operations.

In addition to the farmers, companies and other associations that currently form Dansk Landbrug, DS/DMA and Landbrugsraadet, the new trade body will also welcome as members organisations that will continue as separate entities. These include Mejeriforeningen (Danish Dairy Board), Dansk Pelsdyravlerforening (Danish Fur Breeders' Association), Oekologisk Landsforening (Organic Service Centre) and Dansk Gartneri (Danish Horticulture).

Dansk Landbrug's managing director, Carl Aage Dahl, has been confirmed as the managing director of the new organisation. The board of directors - which will be responsible for developing, organising and running the new trade body - will also include Christina Hvid, managing director of DMA, and Claus Soegaard-Richter, who is currently on the management team of Landbrugsraadet.

The new organisation is expected to be fully operational by the summer. In the meantime, Landbrugsraadet, Dansk Landbrug and DMA will continue to work closely together. Freddy Svane, managing director of Landbrugsraadet, has stepped down by mutual agreement and Carl Aage Dahl has been appointed temporary managing director during the transition period.

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