News in Brief: Danes eating less meat and more veg

Elsewhere, that state is looking to boost young fathers and men’s health, the E45 motorway looks to expanded and Danish Crown takes an online ‘byte’ out of China

A new survey carried out by Coop Analyse and the Danish Vegetarian Association revealed that for at least half the week, 8.2 percent of Danes don’t eat meat. In 2010, the figure was only 3.8 percent.

On top of that, 20 percent have one day a week without meat. Only 40 percent of those surveyed said that they would not eat less meat than they do today.

“This is very good news, both for animal welfare, climate, the environment and public health,” said Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, secretary-general of the Danish Vegetarian Association.

“Every time we conduct a survey on this topic, we see a rise, and there’s no doubt that Danes are moving towards a greener cuisine. Young people especially have really embraced it,” said Lars Aarup of Coop Analysis.

Men’s health increasingly in focus
A number of municipalities in Denmark are spotlighting men’s health. On average, Danish men don’t live as long as women, so Copenhagen municipality wants to do something about it, Metroxpress reports. Several other municipalities have already begun and three of them – Silkeborg, Svendborg and Næstved – were recently awarded a certificate by the forum for men’s health as a result. The chairperson of Silkeborg Municipality’s preventive committee, Elin Sonne, said that “We know that men can’t be bothered to sit there talking for a long time, so we are doing something else. It could be a walk in the woods, chopping wood and building a fire. That’s something that gets men’s interest.” In Næstved, the municipality has started giving health check-ups to men at work. That way, more men will take up the offer. “It needs an extra kick up the backside to motivate men to have a check-up,” said Næstved’s mayor, Carsten Rasmussen.

Young fathers need more support
A research project for the Centre for Economic and Business Research at CBS shows that fathers under 21 are more likely not to go on to higher education and have more difficulty getting onto the job market than older men who have children, DR Nyheder reports. Traditionally, the focus has been on young mothers, but it seems that fathers need help too. A father under 21 has an average income before tax of 325,000 per year. Older men who had children between the ages of 26 and 30 had an average income before tax of 450,000 kroner. In addition, the number of young fathers living with their first-born child is markedly lower than for older fathers. The difference is around 20 percentage points in the years up until the child is five.

Danish Crown to tap into Chinese online market
Potentially, China is a vast market for Danish goods. In recognition of this, meat processing firm Danish Crown has started a co-operation with the Chinese web portal Alibaba. The deal will make Danish Crown’s products available to Alibaba’s 466 million users per year through the Tmall platform. “The inhabitants of China’s largest cities buy more of their foodstuffs online than any other people in the world. We now have a distribution channel for our products, as well as being in the forefront of internet food sales in China,” said Jais Valeur, CEO of Danish Crown.

Motorway upgrade in Jutland may be in sight
The government is investigating whether to expand a stretch of the E45 motorway from Skanderborg to Vejle and also to convert another stretch from four to six lanes from Aarhus South to Aarhus North. If nothing is done, the Ministry of Transport expects traffic queues to lengthen because there are more cars expected on this stretch. “There’s heavy congestion on the E45 and it is vital that we do something about the problem before it gets out of hand,” said transport minister, Ole Birk Olesen. “Every day, commuters from eastern Jutland waste hours stuck in queues. It costs society money and reduces valuable time spent with family and friends.” The government has set aside 48 million kroner to assess the project.